Thursday 12 November 2015

The Meaning of Life - How To Live Your Life

Every day there is somebody telling me how to live my life, mostly in a subtle manner but on some occasions, the message is blatant.

To those people, I say this.

“Leave me alone! It’s my life not yours.”

Of course, I don’t have total control. To start with, I am governed by the laws of the land. For example, I can’t break into a rich man’s house and steal all of his money. I can’t strip off all of my clothes, paint myself purple and prance in the centre of Manchester screaming “Look at my dongle!”

In both cases, I would be arrested immediately.

I hasten to add I have no desire whatsoever to do either of those things.

Other forms of control are more subtle but nonetheless still exist.

For example, in order to be able to do the things I like to do, I have to conform to society’s expectations. I need money therefore I need to work. When I work, I have to conform to the terms and conditions of my employer otherwise I run the risk of being sacked.

Work is the bane of my life and I would gladly free myself of the shackles if I could.

The day I win the lottery is the day my freedom begins. Failing that, I have to wait another fourteen years before I can retire. I can’t wait. I just hope that by that age I’m not a doddery old codger who can barely walk without gasping for breath.

That’s why I want to get a lot of stuff done now - while I still can. And I don’t want anybody to tell me what to do or how to do it.

I’m amazed by adrenaline junkies who actually want to risk their lives to get a buzz. I would never try to tell them what to do and what not to do but such dangerous pursuits are not for me.

Anything involving falling from a great height, whether tied to a bungee rope, a parachute wrapped in a rucksack or metal frame with a lot of plastic sheeting is far too risky for me to try. I would be so scared that I probably would probably croak due to heart failure before the adrenaline kicked in.

I just don’t get it. Life experiences are fantastic and I applaud them. But if there is even the slightest chance that I would end up on the ground as an unrecognisable red splat then it’s not for me.

I’ve always had goals of sorts, but what surprises me most is that most of them didn’t materialise until I was older. If, for example, I had decided that I needed to write a book at the age of 18 I would have actually done so by now, changing my plans and studying English or journalism instead of messing around with computers. I might even have even written a few books.

Instead, I find myself writing a blog, which I started at the age of 45 and only now, eight years later, am I actually attempting to write a novel as part of NaNoWriMo (my latest 30 day challenge).

If I had been bitten by the travel bug at the age of 18, I would have seen a lot more of the world than I have.

If I had learned to play a piano or guitar at the age of 18, I could have been a member of a rock band by now, travelling, writing and enjoying the fruits of my creative juices.

My life would probably be so different. That said, I wouldn’t go back and change anything because I would never have had two great kids and met Mrs PM.

Still, it’s never too late to live my dreams. I’m happy enough and I can still realise some ambitions – just as long as they don’t involve heights, danger and pain.

And as long as nobody tries to tell me which goals to choose, I will remain happy.

Equally, I would never tell anybody else what to do either.

The truth is, I still want every day to be the perfect day and my feelings are summed up by this rock song from Skin, a great British rock band, who had some success in the mid 1990’s:

Over to you, dear reader.

Are you an adrenaline junky or have you ever been one?

Are you happy with the way you live your life?

Have you any regrets?

What are your ambitions?

What is your Perfect Day?


joeh said...

Regrets are a waste of time. As you point out if I avoided most things that I should regret I would not have many of the things I do have.

I had my retirement all planned and the day after I retired I learned my wife hooked up with an old boy friend. Everything turned upside down...f*ck it, since she left, I've lost 20 pounds, quit drinking, quit smoking and am with a sexy women that respects me and doesn't call me an ass-hole when ever the moon is in the wrong phase, I'm playing golf again and learning guitar. Cost me time with my teen age son, a home, lots of friends and about $500,000 and looking back it was still a good thing.

Just go with the flow my friend.

River said...

I'm happy with the way I live my life, more so now that I'm retired. I do regret not staying at school longer. if I'd been able to see into the future back then, I might have lived differently, but then I wouldn't have the wonderful kids and grandkids I have now.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

That's the thing that clinches it, isn't it? You kids and grandkids.

Still, there's plenty more to do.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

I intend to go with the flow. I can't believe what happened when you retired.

Learning the guitar, eh? That's on the list for me!




Dale Brown said...

If somebody wants to throw themselves out of a plane to enjoy life then I wish them joy but in return I expect them to respect my preferences in entertainment - most of which involve being indoors and sat down.

As to regrets - I'm at the age now where they keep tapping me on the shoulder and gojng "Hey. maybe you COULD have had this life instead. Too late now. Hah hah."

Oh well.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

Do exactly what you want, mate.