I have been reflecting over the weekend on how I seemed to have been leading a programmed life, rather than one filled with much spontaneity. The programmed life is the one in which I studied, got a job, got married, bought a few houses, and had a good career. A programmed life is pretty much the norm in society. But it does have its down side--such as those things that are put off because they are stray variables in the program. When I think back on how many things that I have put on hold because the timing wasn't right or the situation didn't suit, I am amazed that I have gotten so much done.
It seems that I have always "sacrificed" what I wanted to do for those things that I thought I should do. I should study so I won't do something for fun. I should go for a higher degree so that I will get a better job. I should make more friends but find it hard to get to know and stick with people. I should do something about my attitude and fears around alcoholism but am ashamed to admit there is a problem. The circumstances go on and on in which I put things off because of some other pressing thing that I thought had to be done.
I like to think that after so many years of putting off the things that I really wanted to do, I am now finally doing them. I have had goals all my life. And those goals kept me busy working towards their achievement. I didn't hitchhike across country because I was in college or graduate school. We didn't have any children because the time never seemed right with both of us being so invested in our careers. The amazing thing is that I have few regrets because I realize that the choices made were fairly well thought through at the time. Or at least they seemed to be.
To me it seemed that it was a rational decision to keep going in school. It seemed rational not to have a hiatus in a career because of a child. It seemed rational to save money because we would need it for later in life. So many things were put on hold to do at some time in the future.
And so the years have slipped past. As I get older, I realize that there were many things that I put off for some other time. And the years are going faster now than ever it seems. Some things were put off because I was so absorbed with the effects of alcoholism that my sense of living had become dulled. I kept hoping that maybe someday things would change, and I wouldn't be so uptight about her drinking. Those were years of putting one foot in front of the other with occasional excursions of enjoyment.
It really is only now that I have begun to realize that there is no time like the present to do those things that I really enjoy. It seems implausible that I worked for 31 years and had hobbies that took time. Now that I am free from working at a job, I am trying to do those things that I enjoy and not putting them off. I keep cramming things on my plate like a kid who is told to have free rein in a candy store. I can't seem to get enough of living each day to the max.
Buying a sailboat was something that I put off until retirement. And now I am seeing that the present is filled with wonderful things because I do have the time. I am no longer procrastinating about those things that I want to do. I want a life well lived. And to be fully engaged with it right up to the very end. I don't want to be programmed anymore with schedules so that every moment is planned out. I want to have spontaneity and freedom. So for me, there is no time like now to get moving and start enjoying each day.