Life as we know it…..

Some one once said” Life is what happens while your busy planning for it.” Maybe it wasn’t exactly that but close enough.

So how is it that we get so involved in planning our lives that we miss most of it as it jettisons right by us. I have been trying to change the way I live my life for years, and it’s a slow process at best, trying to undo the mess that I have created.

Last year, I went to see “Eat, Pray, Love ” and I walked away from the film with a reinforcement of what I always believed. You can not change your life unless you change where you live your life. Nothing really changes if your environment doesn’t

The main character in the movie came to a crossroad when she realized that she wasn’t living a life by choice but one that she couldn’t relate to because she became lost in all the things that life threw at her on a daily basis. She didn’t know who she was and what truly made her happy, so she embarked on a mission to find her true self.

If you think about it we build our lives in steps which seems to end in retirement. We are born, we grow, we learn, we work, we marry, we have kids, we buy a house, we create massive expenses and responsibilities, and we hope for a comfortable retirement. We are led to believe that this is a way to a happy life. We don’t live life, we work it. Sure we all get little bits and pieces of it but do we ever really live the life we would if we could?

I have spent my life working just to enjoy a few off weeks a year to do things that make me happy while all the time wishing I could work less and live more. I am not talking about traveling the world but just taking the time to “smell the roses”.  I, like most men, are driven to make money with the hope that at some point I can enjoy the rewards of my lifelong efforts. But unless you happen to make a killing very quickly, you will find that basically you work your whole life to live, and not much more.

Maybe we are all just missing life the way it was intended to be. “SIMPLE.” We have all become products of our environment. So caught up in our work that it becomes our life. Think about how upside down we have made our lives. We spend most of our day working and the rest sleeping. When we aren’t sleeping we are on our phones or computers probably either working or wasting time.  I have been told by my parents that some of the best times of their life were before all this technology set in. It seems that living before the 1960’s was great. Could it be because life was much simpler and less cluttered with technology. People actually had conversations in their living rooms with neighbors on Saturday nights. It was called “having company”. Today, we don’t even want to talk to each other so we just text.

If you are young and reading this here’s some advice. Start early and save as much money as possible by avoiding what everyone else is doing with theirs, because later in life you will need it more than earlier. Travel as soon as possible and see how others live in difference to where you were raised. Take a job or jobs that don’t tie you down ( this is the difficult one) but allow you to leave if necessary and start up somewhere else. Remember, its not how much you earn its how much you spend that makes life difficult, and with this in mind, stay debt free. And last, you will  learn later in life that it is shorter than you think so be prepared to say yes now to all the things you truly want to do and not make excuses as to why you can’t. Don’t let your “career” become who you are. Keep your life “simple” because at some point you will look back on it and wonder how it got so complicated and stressful and not know how to fix it. It becomes like the hamster on a wheel. Repetition over and over, the same everyday.

Life as we know it happens because we allow it to. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I’ll get this life right!

Just one man’s opinion

The Regular Guy

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5 Responses to Life as we know it…..

  1. Thomas Valis says:

    Regular Guy,

    Well thought out and written article. Could not agree with you more. It does seem that our lives are wrapped around our jobs. Here we are on the Jersey Shore and for the most part we can’t enjoy it to it’s fullest. Now that I am disbled to work, I really regret not enjoying life more when I was healthier. I have the time now, but not the health or even the money to enjoy it. My Mom talks about growing up in New York and playing hop scotch and jump rope with her friends. Going to Coney Island for a day and that sort of thing. She talks about having company and family over for dinner or just talking. Technology, as great as it is, has taught us not to be as sociable. Customer service is at all time low. I went in a store and the counter girl was texting with a friend and actually told ne to give her minute before waiting on me. I tell my son all the time to save his money. He does a pretty good job, but could do better. Your advice for the young is good and smart advice. If you don’t mind, I would like to add one thing. Do not get hooked on gambling. It is a quick way to the poorhouse and to hell.
    Thanks for letting me share my opinion.

  2. Please allow me to elaborate, or rather colaborate, with my free spirited compatriot; and…at the same time agree and disagree with him completely.

    Yes… you can not really be happy, you can not change your life (for the better) “unless you change where you live your life. Nothing really changes if your environment doesn’t.” If you live in hell (figuratively or literally-think Middle East) you will burn and be miserable.

    BUT- No, I completely disagree because no matter where you go, there YOU are. If you are a turd, you will stink up any environment that you deposit yourself in. If you are bad tempered, moody, mean, sad, stupid person…you will be bad tempered, moody, mean, sad, stupid person whether you live in a beautiful mansion in Hawaii or in the middle of a frozen tundra in Antarctica. You must cultivate your connection to the beauty and stability of the entire universe and be able to appreciate it and tap into it wherever you may be. Once you “perfect” yourself, you will be happy (as happy as circumstances beyond your control allow you to be) no matter where you are.

  3. admin says:

    Okay compatriot. Very mean and nasty people will indeed remain mean and nasty, but for the half normal human being that spends his/her life on the hamster wheel, your environment controls a lot of your life. You can only live your life if it is only you in your life. We all make decisions every day based on what is best for someone else. What restaurant we choose, who’s house we spend the holiday at, whether to tell some one how you really feel or hold it inside because it would hurt them. These are just some of the things we all do that we would rather not if left to make decisipns based soley on what makes US happy. I understand that changing ones environment alone can not bring happiness or a less stressful life, but it can lead to a life change and hopefully for the better.
    Living in the “moment”, the “here and now” is something Buddist Monks will tell you or you might read in a find your inner self Zen class, but in reality it is next to impossible to do. Buddist Monks don’t involve themselves in the likes of cell phones, high paying jobs or driving cars. I tottally understand everything in life involves choices and they choose that life. WE on the other hand, were not born into or given the choice to live like such. Making that choice now, to give up what we know, for a simpler life, is almost beyond the scope of reality.
    At some point in time, we as a society, will not be able to sustain this lifestyle. We are all under to much stress to succeed and to do so at the risk of our life passing us by. When was the last time you heard someone say that “time was dragging by”. Everyone will tell you how fast time passes. Just look at us my friend, its has been almost 20 years since we met and it only seems like yesterday that we did. And what if anything has really changed in our life.We still are chasing our tail to get to an end we know nothing about. I envy people who just “drop out of life”. They have balls! Me, I just keep holding on because of everyone else in my life. If only because it is the so called “right” thing to do.
    Hey, thanks for the comment. I miss our talks on matters of such. Maybe someday we can retire to someplace in the middle and live our lives out drinking green tea and eating bean curd.

  4. admin says:

    Tommy V. I always look forward to your comments. We are more alike than we would care to have imagined some years back. I am still waiting on a time that’s good for you to get together. We aren’t getting any younger bubba!

  5. peter doonis says:

    Monsieur Cappacola Fresco, No.

    Time for another movie reference. As the Iron Giant said at the end of the movie… “I choose”. He was programmed to be an invading, destroying machine sent here to take over the planet. He chose the hard road. He consciously decided to do what he felt was the right thing to do regardless of the trials that were involved.

    You Sir are one of the finest, most standup, common sense guys I have ever known. You take care of your family, you take care of yourself and treat everybody you meet with respect. For somebody like you to “envy” people with “big balls” who “drop out of life”is both hilarious and mind boggling. Large balled life dropper outers don’t deserve to carry your pastry brush. The world, our country, states, cities, many families, are already half way down the crapper because of floaters like them. It is THEY who should envy you, it is they who should aspire to be a fraction of the man that you are. No one forces us to stay on that hamster wheel- We choose to run on that wheel to generate the power needed to illuminate humanity. (I just made that up…sounds pretty good huh?)

    When my mom was going through chemo, when my grandma was going through radiation, when my dad couldn’t breathe in the middle of the night and was in the E.R. for 6 six hours struggling to stay alive, I was fortunate enough to be there in each case. Lousy situations that are some of my very best memories. At those points in time, that was “all there was.” It is not some Buddhist theory it is reality. In those situations there were two options I had to chose from: be there or not be there. Sometimes there are only 2 flavors of ice cream- life is not always Baskin Robbins my friend. I took the option I preferred and was happy to be there with the people I loved, doing whatever I could to make it more pleasant for them. My only regret is that I was not there more through those shitty times.
    That is what keeps us on the wheel. we, the average sized balls, non dropout of life types give a shite about the people around us.

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