A Facebook friend posted this picture and quote of Lucille Ball today, and I loved it so much I shared it and am writing about it here.
It relates directly to getting the Rolling Stones tickets yesterday, but also to our broader philosophy of life. Ken and I had this conversation when Notre Dame went undefeated in football last season and were playing for the national championship. It was outrageously expensive, but Ken said, “Let’s do it. We will probably never get another chance like this.”
We talked about how we could save every penny towards retirement, but how many people do you know who finally reached retirement and then got sick, or were in poor enough health that they couldn’t travel? We made a conscious decision to do some of these things NOW rather than wait ten years from now, when Ken hopes to retire. Ken took almost a month off of work and we did Route 66; we went to Miami for a three-day weekend to cheer for our Irish; and we decided to go for it and get good seats for the Stones.
Route 66 was the trip of a lifetime for me, something I’d wanted to do for well over a decade. Although the championship game didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, we still had a fabulous time in Miami and were happy to be there to cheer for our team. I’m sure that the Stones concert is going to be a blast, and I will probably scream and cry and be a hot mess and enjoy the HELL out of it.
We aren’t wealthy, by any means, and we do things like this within reason. But when a good time comes along, we decided to whip it...whip it good. We aren’t extravagant in our daily life, and we save our money for traveling and doing fun things like this. We still have retirement funds, of course, so I don’t think we’ll have to dine on Fancy Feast, but we’re not going to save every penny for ten years from now. I know there are some people out there who make a total career change around this age, or are just entering the workforce due to various reasons. Whatever works for you, I suppose, but I feel very fortunate and grateful that I not only got to enjoy a quarter century of a satisfying and interesting career, I was able to retire five years ago, and I’ve never missed the daily grind once. I still enjoy the subject of Microbiology and read plenty about it, but I was happy to say goodbye to the day-to-day stuff. If you’re my age and you’re just starting your career, well...have fun with that!
If we hadn’t done the 66 trip when we did, we might not have been able to do the walking and climbing we did. If we hadn’t gone to Miami, we would have looked back and said, “Damn, I wish we’d gone to that.” And if we hadn’t gone to see the Stones this time, we will probably never get another chance. Like any human being, I’ve done things in my life that I regret. But like Lucy, I don’t want to regret the things I didn’t do, miss the opportunities I might never get again, and feel that I somehow let life pass me by.