Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life on My Terms

My younger son just started his first job. He did not want to work to get a job but I pushed him by reducing the funding of his social life. He has a great job now and he is having a great time on the job. He has met new people and been successful at things that he did not know were out there. He moves from job to school to social life to chores and stays organized and gets it all done. All good things.

I should be excited and happy about this new independent person emerging. Instead I suddenly see the point where we start to upload obligations and accountability that now weigh heavily on us in our later lives. Maybe it is part of a whole evolution of growing up and growing older. You learn to manage the obligations and the related skills that come with those obligations. Then when these same obligations that taught us so much start to weigh heavily on us, we seek to shed them but still retain the skills that came with that stage. Is there a way to live freely throughout our entire evolution or is this a necessary growth stage?

We learn to spend our time achieving goals and doing the 'right'things. We stop listening to our heart. Our definition of what is 'right' gets narrower as we age too. What if we did the wrong things? What if we travelled the world and did not get a job. What if we followed our heart and did all the things that made out hearts sing when we are young. Is that failure? Who decides what is the right path and what is the wrong path. We look at and admire those who follow their own path and reach their definition of success. Yet we seek conformity and encourage conformity in our children.

Before I do things that scare me, I always wonder why did I book this or commit to this? After I do them, I know exactly why. If I can overcome the awkwardness of the beginning...when I do not know what to expect, then I can move on through with confidence. Need to accept that place where nothing is familiar and trust myself when I doubt.

For my next twenty years I want to live a modified Richard Branson version of my life. A little adventure, a lot of unique experiences. My crowning glory of a life on my terms. And maybe I will return to the sameness of the now and it will be the right place for me. When I die I do not want to look back at an unlived life of mediocrity and safety. A life where I did all the right things but missed all the rights things for me.

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