Of course, I could be dead tomorrow. Hopefully this won’t happen. I’m so hopeful, in fact, that I think about the future as though I’ll be around for 2-3 decades. Imagine being around for another 20-30 years. Wow. What on earth will I do with that time, if I’m lucky enough that it materializes? What would you do with that time if it were there for you?
Well, I currently have my Tapas Life, which you’ve read about in this blog. It’s quite full with Family, Start-up, Exercise/Sports, Friends, Board, Piano, LifeCoaching, Volunteering, Home, Cooking, Finances, Wine, Travel, Learning, writing about the Tapas Life, and more. And I periodically wonder whether it will be up to the challenge of keeping myself vital until near the end. This is a combination of wishing to not be a burden to kids and of wishing to live an engaging life.
I find it fathomable that some of these Tapas will run out of gas over time, gradually diminishing. I don’t imagine that my work at a start-up will continue more than another few years: either it’ll be a success or it won’t, and that’ll be that. I imagine that the amount of far-flung travel my wife and I have been enjoying will be more difficult to carry off over time: will we still want to take 17-hour flights with 12-hour time changes, and then walk 10-12 miles/day at our destination — even when we’re in our 80s? Probably not. I’d like to think we’ll still be going to Paris for a few weeks or months now and then, but we might not find ourselves walking from the Luxembourg Gardens to the Bois de Boulogne and back like we do today. Likewise, Board work and Volunteering (unless it takes some new form) are likely to decrease for me over the coming decade, as my interest in same is waning.
The rest of my Tapas Life, I hope will remain intact, especially the “anchor tenants” of Family, Friends, Exercise, and Learning. And, for better of for worse, I’ll still be working on Finances every month, willy nilly. Lest I starve or die of thirst, best to hang on to Cooking and Wine, as well!
I’ve been pondering what main activities might have the “legs” to last decades, along with the anchors. In a sense, this is trying to foresee what my life might look like, or more to the point, what I want my life to look like over the next 2-3 decades. Three main activities resonate for me.
First, piano. I’ve gotten to the point where I can play the piano well enough that it is really a rewarding activity. This is especially the case because I’m now able to play pretty difficult stuff — and this is music I love. OK, I’m certainly not professional nor within a country mile. But I’m good enough that now my drive to learn more is accelerating. I’ve lately started to entertain the idea that I will seek out a way to earn a music/piano degree over the coming decade, maybe getting started in a couple years as some other Tapas dwindle. I sure as hell don’t want to go back into Psych101 or Freshman English, so I’m hoping I can work something out (Stanford would be ideal, or perhaps the Conservatory in San Francisco) where I can just take all the music and piano courses: Theory, Composition, Appreciation and the like. Truthfully, I haven’t yet investigated what such a path would entail, but I know I want to get in deeper. I want to better understand what my favorite composers were doing within a given piece, so I can find the hidden fullness of the music and bring that out at the keyboard.
Second, LifeCoaching. This meaningful Tapa of mine is one which benefits from experience. It seems very likely that I can be doing this for at least another couple decades, assuming the universe continues to bring me clients as it so helpfully has. Moreover, it is an activity that can be titrated in line with need: one can have more or less clients as suits the circumstances of the moment.
Third, maybe French. This is really Learning and Travel wrapped together. My wife and I love Paris and hope to enjoy chunks of time there for many years. So I’m contemplating getting serious about becoming reasonably fluent in French. I can read it decently now, and speak enough to handle the quotidian basics, but can’t understand the spoken language much at all, and am a long way from speaking it well. This, too, is an activity that can continue to be engaging and can continue yielding pleasure for decades. My wife studied French for many years, and is surreptitiously fluent; so my pursuing French fluency is something that we can work on together, which is fun.
Don’t know if these things will come to pass, but they inhabit my musings these days.
What’s your thinking about the decades that you’re rolling into??? If you lay it out, you can live it. If you don’t, you can just experience life as it comes at you.