Life begins today

As I was retiring my clients kept reminding me of 'how bored I would be'. I came to realise that it was a statement designed to keep me in place for their benefit, not mine.

Quite the opposite has happened. I have no trouble filling my days, and that's every day including weekends. It wasn't immediate. I spent many months thinking about what I should do as opposed to how I want to spend my time. It became obvious that I needed to look back in order to look forward. A strange thing also happened, I began dreaming of all the different workplaces I have been in, and quite a few scenarios in the dreams appeared to be troubleshooting moments. It's like I was 'fixing' past problems that I had spent years hanging on to, and I rememberd them all the next day.

I vowed to take better care of myself, watch what I eat, loose some weight, exercise more, clean up the yard, catch up on some movies and generally take it easy. Well, I did take it easy, for a while. I digitised all my music collection, sorted out all my video collection, upgraded the computers, cleaned up the back yard, made a new garden, washed the car (without being asked), went on some bike rides, went camping with the boys, rediscovered video making and editing, reaffirmed some long friendships, got inspected by the doctors, started cooking more, examined what I was eating, eliminated MSG from my diet, walked more often over longer distances, lost a little weight, and generally started feeling a lot better about myself.

What had happened was I dropped all the stress in my life. So every day I wake up relaxed with a renewed sense of purpose. The difference is that the purpose I now have is mine, not someone elses. How did I allow this to happen? How did I not notice that for the last 25 years I was a slave to the system? You won't agree, I'm sure, as this is how it works - we leave school and work until we retire. What drives us is the need to succeed and provide for ourselves and our loved ones. Fine. But why does it create underlying stress, stress that is so subtle that over long periods it actually shapes our personality and keeps requiring more stress to make us feel that we are 'handling' it all okay?

I have often said that if I wasn't married (and this has nothing to do with my wife) that I would be living an entirely different life. So why didn't I? Because the norm in society is to have a job, get married, build a house, start a fmaily and live happily ever after. The problem is I don't see a lot of people who are 'happily ever after'. Are we wrong? Is society wrong? Who's to blame.

No one. Life is as life is - difficult. I have absolutely nothing to complain about. Hell, we live in Utopia in this day and age. I cannot imagine what it's like to live in poverty, slavery, drought, oppression, war or even to be homeless. We need to stop complaining and wake up each day gratefull for life itself, and be happy and content.

Ray

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