Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Twenty Year Plan

It’s awfully presumptuous of me to project my life years into the future, but I’m pretty healthy at fifty-five years old. I just have to stay out of the crossfire. That means no trips to the mall or movie theater. Forget about that vacation to Nice. Do I need to become the Boy in the Bubble to live another two decades? In these times of ours, people get mowed down by nuts, who are having a bad day, or ex-employees, who recently visited the gun auction. “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”

If I’m lucky, I figure I have a good twenty years left of life. Twenty years. Sounds like a prison sentence, but I’m not talking about ten to life. I’m talking about twenty years of living the good life. That’s being a positive, glass-is-half-full kind of guy. It’s true that my dad is 95 and my mom is 86, but I’m adopted, so I don’t share their longevity genes. My birth mother is still alive, and she has battled cancer already. One of her two sons – my half brothers (are they half full or half empty?) – died a few years ago of cancer. In another year or so, it’ll be time for my second colonoscopy. I want to keep the big C away from little ole me.

My priority now and as long as I am breathing is being the best father I can be for my son. That includes staying sane. So staying sane is up at the top of the list. I want to live in a more rural setting. Some place where I can have a dog. Those two things alone will lower my stress and add years to my life. I want to continue to write, and hope to publish some stories or essays. I could publish my memoir and sell the film rights. It could happen. Stranger things may not have happened yet, but they will. Mark my words. They will.

The truth is I never had a plan at all. I’ve been winging it all along. I suppose I’ll be winging it the rest of my life, too. I have never planned for my future. Plan indicates some type of forethought and reasoning. I only started saving for my retirement last year and it’s not like I’ve got a nest egg squirreled away somewhere. (Was that mixing metaphors?) I won’t be hitting the road in the Winnebago for points unknown, or raising the mast and setting sail for the sunset and beyond.

Speaking of tropical vacations, (weren’t we?) this could easily just become some kind of wish list. I loathe the term bucket list. Maybe because my bucket has always had a hole in it. I could've listed all the rosy events that I’d like to see occur in my future, but wishing is not planning. Wishing and hoping doesn’t make dreams come true. Going back to bed does.

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