As I get older, it seems like time is accelerating. The days and weeks are flying by on their way to their final destination and an end to my journey. I guess that’s fact of nature. We are all racing towards our demise. This journey of life ends for all of us eventually.
Life is finite and precious so living it to the hilt should be our default lifestyle. As a young adult the drive to build an adventurous lifestyle seemed such a basic truth that I made it my goal.
As soon as I had my undergrad degree, I set off for the Sonoran Desert because it is about as different from the dreary rainy northwest as I could imagine. I made my living jumping out of airplanes for a couple of decades, then went on unlikely intellectual journey that would have shocked my high school teachers.
I went to graduate school, earned an MBA, got involved in more graduate studies, wrote academic papers and taught at a community college. My motorcycle was my only means of transportation for years, and in 1989, it took me on a once-in-a-lifetime six-week tour of the entire western United States.
How many people can say they showed up at an academic conference after riding hundreds of miles through the desert on two wheels, then changing into a casual business attire to deliver results of a study on risky behaviors?
Life is an adventure and those are examples of the intellectual and physical adventures I’ve pursued throughout my life.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955–1967
I never thought that kind of life was unusual until I saw the Facebook page of my high school graduating class a few years ago. I assumed everyone pursued his or her dreams. That Facebook page reveals how wrong I was, It exposes how very different my values and life trajectory are from my high school classmates.
Mostly it’s the women doing the posting. They talk about their grandkids and post…