I tend to hold personal things close and share only with a few close friends or family. The following experience is not intended to elicit emotional responses, nor support, but shared because it explains the original, subconscious reason why I’m wandering around in Tamasté, and how that’s now changed. And without sharing, the larger point would not be as relevant or crystal clear.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been in my former home town of Findlay, Ohio, for various healthcare appointments and get my checkmarks so I can head off down the road for another year. During one of these, an office test showed a potential problem, and a subsequent hospital-based test confirmed it, leading to a heart procedure to fix it. That turned out to be a proactive avoidance of something that could have been bad possibly sooner than later.
Immediately after the test, however, was an event that led to my second chance and an “I get it” moment around phrases such as live each day, tomorrow is not promised, etc.
Truth is, in some ways, we are the biggest barrier to our health, well-being, and a long life lived without too much strife. We do things that defy common sense, accelerate body issues not so much out of ignorance, but from ego, a sense of entitlement and from the naïveté that “it won’t happen to me.” All of these in the face of evidence that says otherwise coupled with our profound lack of self will. Yes, sometimes genetics plays a part, but I suspect it’s mostly a lifelong act of obstinance to doing what’s right to keep our amazing bodies functioning as designed.
My stated reason for traveling in Tamasté upon retiring was I wanted to see places long on my list, visit old friends, spend more time in nature, and dedicate some real bulk time to writing. Truth is it took some deep, reflective thought and journaling since this second chance event to truly understand. I have been scrambling to see and do things that I didn’t have time for when I did have a job, bills to pay, and things to buy. And, as it turns out, this rush to do is fueled by a hidden fear that mortality’s time clock has only so many tick-tocks left. It’s ludicrous, in a sense, to think I could possibly pack decades and decades of missed experiences into such a short time, yet I that apparently was my intent while I outwardly thought I had lots of time left.
Most of us probably have some type of fear about passing on yet intellectual know we only live in these bodies so long. But knowing the logic of that and brushing up against it are decidedly different emotional moments. Oddly enough, at the time, I was not fearful but attentive on the experience that was unfolding before me. Only later after reflection and more understanding did I grasp the potential closeness of that event.
I’ve always thought, probably like most of us, that those pithy quotes and statements have truth, but there’s lots of time left so no worries. Like many such sentiments, they tend to touch and influence only those who’ve already brushed with consequences of not following such sage advice, and tend to not inspire change for those who need to change the most.
So where and what now? I continue on a path of reexamining what I’m doing and what matters, but so far I’ll continue wandering and exploring in Tamasté for the near future. One change is I have no plans beyond the short term nor feel in a hurry to see and explore places and things on that huge list. Instead, it’s a gratitude each day to have the opportunity to be free and nomadic for now so I can explore, enjoy, and experience whatever comes my way each day. Enjoying what’s in front of me, right now, is suddenly far more important.