Life is more than big plans.
Building a retirement lifestyle means taking care of the big decisions and issues but that is only the start. It also means living on a minute to minute basis and making sure that those minutes count. The clock is ticking and no one knows how many of those precious minutes are left. That is a big problem for me and so I’m going to address it. I get really caught up in the big plans, the ones that take months or years to accomplish and while I’m working on them the short term enjoyments get forgotten. I have to schedule small trips like museums and local sights because on a day to day basis, I’m always too busy to be spontaneous. It is still a problem for me but not so much as before I made it part of my plan.
Short term is important.
These is another dimension of working in the future that I struggle with as well. You could call it enjoying the moment. In this case, the moment is Christmas and I’m fighting the impulses that tell me to just forget about it. The kids are out of the house and there are no grandchildren so it is easy to say bah humbug and keep working. I’m fighting that too because each day is a step on the path to my future and if I wait to enjoy myself until I’m there, it may be too late.
So what am I doing?
Last week I asked about five of the ways we celebrate Christmas: music, food, cards, a tree and lights. I asked you to vote your view about them and their importance to you this season. Well, my own indifference surprised me. I don’t have much Christmas spirit yet and the big day is closing in. I decided that maybe you don’t do those things because you have Christmas spirit. Maybe you have Christmas spirit because you do those things.
So I started doing.
Yesterday I sent Christmas cards. It felt good but it was only a start. Today I started researching food for our Christmas dinner. I found a Christmas special from Gordon Ramsey The best part of it was his own version of Beef Wellington. I re-watched the video today taking notes. I’m starting to get a bit excited. I can already smell the mulled wine and the roasted nuts. I have to call the market to make sure I have the right cut of meat but there is still time. I’ve never done Beef Wellington but it is already seeming more like Christmas.
There is still the Christmas music to play. It’s in the back of the CD player cartridge. I just need to play it instead of the news while we fix dinner. I plan to pick up a tree sometime this week. Since they start trying to move them, I’m thinking I will get a good deal but that’s not the real point. Sure it is a hassle to put up the tree and even worse taking it down. The point is that that effort and commitment gives purpose to the season.
There won’t be any Christmas lights at the Carlson manse but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate Mike across the street and the rest of lighted houses.
I’m beginning to feel the spirit moving and I like it.