If you write a blog, are writing a book, or are a journalist of some sort or another, you are always looking for content. Invariably, if you are paying attention, someone will say something that gives you exactly what you need for your next topic.
Sometimes, it hits you immediately. Sometimes it sinks in later that day, or even in the dead of night. Somehow in regards to the latter, your subconscious was paying attention (that is funny right there), and didn’t let it slip by. This happened to me today.
In getting a final tune up at my doctor’s prior to our departure for sunny California on September 14th, my doctor, who is awesome by the way, said “doesn’t it feel like you are playing hookie on life”? It immediately resonated with me because I always play close attention to my doctor. After all, she did originally set me on a path to get treated, and just in time I might add.
Here is the definition of playing hookie, according to some “slang dictionary”: Play hookie (verb): Skipping school, missing classes, taking as extended lunch, skipping out of work for the day/afternoon just to have fun. (It kind of fits here).
So, once I processed that comment, my first thought was, yes, it does feel that way. After all, we will be taking a hiatus from work (although for more than just a day/afternoon), we sold our home, so no need to pay taxes or mow the lawn. A lot of life’s responsibilities with either be put on hold, or are gone for good. But then I thought, many of those things have been replaced by other responsibilities, and some are much larger in scope, although most are likely temporary.
For example, the planning of the route across America; the setting up places to stay; monitoring my health throughout the trip; making sure I am eating right and getting enough calories; RV maintenance and troubleshooting (there is always something to fix); promoting the event; keeping up with filings, regulations, etc., and of course, figuring out the finances for this endeavor. I didn’t even mention the physical demands this walk is going to take on my almost 56 year-old body, or planning for the unexpected (unwelcome critters, trouble, ailments). It didn’t take long to realize that life didn’t get all that much easier, it just changed.
Now, am I happy that a lot of those mundane tasks and obligations are gone? Absolutely. I do realize however, that the next 7 months or so are not going to be a walk in the park, no pun intended. We will be doing what we can to enjoy the moments and take in all the beautiful scenery and people this country has to offer. In that regard, it will seem like we are playing hookie, however, we do have a lot of work in front of us to make this a meaningful adventure. By that I mean to keep the purpose of the walk front and center, and to inspire others to get up and get moving.
Our goal is to make a bit of a splash in opening people’s eyes about what it takes to be heart healthy. We want to inspire people as I stated above, but more than that, to bring heart disease to the collective forefront of people’s minds. We feel that many have lost focus on their own heart health, and that heart disease has become somewhat overlooked as of late.
One last comment before I conclude. I have often believed that people should take a reprieve from life’s crazy demands. I had thought that six months to a year away from everyday life, to go do something, anything, that they want to do, would be awesome, especially when you are in your early 40’s (hey, maybe 56 is the new early 40’s). In theory, it makes so much sense. In practice, I realize that it is hard to do.
Whether it be financial constraints, job demands, kid obligations, or anything else, breaking away from it all, midlife, is difficult. But why can’t it be done? Think about what is holding you back and look at your priorities and see if it is right for you. I will bet, in many cases, not all, but many, that it makes sense and will be one of the most fulfilling things you do while on this crazy ride called life. Give it some thought, even if only for a brief moment. Consider all the details. If it doesn’t feel right, or you are just not comfortable with the risk, then don’t do it. Maybe it is something you can reassess down the road. Sometimes it is all about timing.
However, if you do find the courage to jump in head first, make a good plan, and then do it with gusto and don’t look back. It may help you avoid that end of life regret that you didn’t take a chance in life, or chase a dream when you could. Just a thought.