“What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you’d want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.”
― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
This is a little doohickey dad found in a parking lot. Snidely rode with my dad for nearly 40 years when he was a truck driver.
“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little. Epicurus”
― Robert Skidelsky, How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life
I have been very open and transparent about the fact that within the next two years I will retire. It’s interesting the feedback I have received regarding this (VERY MUCH GONNA HAPPEN) pinnacle in my life. I mean … how much is enough?
I have been advised, “Oh, you can’t retire!! You are too young. You will be bored? You will not have enough money! What will you do? Oh, you will be back to work within a few months but definitely sooner than a year.”
These statements make me feel like the folks who are around me all of the time, really do not know me. The truth is, they do not. I am not who everyone thinks I am. I am very much able to easily entertain myself for hours on end, with no one else around. Just me, myself and I. Yes, that is a little crazy. Just a little bit. But I am what I am.
“Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free.”
― Lana Del Rey
So, here are some facts about me that not many people know. I was diagnosed with a “stress disorder” when I was 13 years old. The stress was mostly brought on by situational events that I had no control over. From the age of 19, I was “diagnosed” with “potentially” having terminal cancer no less than 6 times. I realized after the third time of needing a second opinion (barium enema, cervical biopsy, extensive bloodwork) that my problem was not internal, it was external and the only thing that would solve these weird stress related issues would be to change EVERYTHING about my life. So for that, THAT is what I did.
I have lived in Washington State, Washington DC, California, Indiana, Virginia, South Korea, Nepal, Venezuela, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, and Guam. I have been able to travel to all but four of the states in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, India, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, UK, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Qatar, Cuba, Australia, The Hague, Amsterdam, Poland, Prague, Croatia, Vienna, Hungary, Ethiopia, Ghana, Germany, Japan, China, Jamaica, Italy, Taiwan, Ecuador, Turkey, Spain, Malaysia, Cameroon, Laos, Hong Kong, Slovania, Bosnia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Micronesia… and.. and.. and.. and as crazy as this sounds, I feel like I might have missed a few places. I have legitimately enjoyed every place I have been. However, how many new places will be enough? Also, I can visit these places again when I retire, right?
“But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade, With all the freaks of wanton wealth array’d— In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain, The toiling pleasure sickens into pain; And, e’en while fashion’s brightest arts decoy, The heart distrusting asks if this be joy.”
― Robert Skidelsky, How Much is Enough?: Money and the Good Life
I have been working since I was ten years old. I know that seems ridiculous to some. However, it’s true. I babysat 5 kids under the age of five for 12 hours minimum each and every weekend. I made $1.00 an hour for that work. The same summer I was cleaning house for an older couple. $20.00 for the entire Saturday was what I earned.
Since that time, I have sold Rainbow vacuum cleaners, worked at KFC, Burger King, Straw Hat Pizza, Domino’s Pizza (30 min or less and it’s exactly how I learned to drive), realtor, elementary school teacher, paralegal, U.S. Navy (21 years total), Albertson’s meat department, English teacher in South Korea, and a few other minor jobs before I transitioned into my current job. The only job that has provided me pay over poverty level, the ability to travel the world, and most importantly the ability to retire. I’m 56 years old now and yes, that means I am young. Specifically in today’s world were apparently 60 is the new 20? So why do I often feel like I am 70? Toil, toil, toil. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
― Helen Keller, The Open Door
As much as I have enjoyed my life, my work, my fun, my time, and this newest job that has given me so much. There is something that it has not given me. And anyone who works like a dog, knows where I am going with this. It has not given me time. Time with my family, and time with my friends. Time with myself. The ability to plan and organize the life I really want. Heck, sometimes I do not even know what I really want. That’s ok. I just need some time to figure it out. I need solitude. I need space. I need freedom. Now what means is that I have had to go back to the days I lived in poverty and remember how I did it. Remember how some of those days were rough, but were literally where most of my very best memories lay. I didn’t have two phones, unlimited internet, a 3 bedroom 3 bath house, gadgets galore, unlimited television (seriously who really needs 3000 channels?), 200 pair of shoes, closets full of clothes I never wear, a body full of angst (all of the time)!
“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.” ― Eve Ensler
Many of the people in these pictures are no longer with us. Many have disappeared in time and space, and I am in contact with as many more, just don’t have enough time with them!! I Know I can entertain myself and the folks I love are very good at entertaining me as well. A life with less, well, it’s not for everyone. But I think I can handle it.
Get out, explore.
Challenge authority. Challenge yourself.
Become who you say you always will. Keep moving. Don’t stop. Start the revolution. Become a freedom fighter. Become a superhero. Just because everyone doesn’t know your name doesn’t mean you don’t matter.
Are you happy? Have you ever been happy? What have you done today to matter? Did you exist or did you live? How did you thrive?
Become a chameleon-fit in anywhere. Be a rockstar-stand out everywhere. Do nothing, do everything. Forget everything, remember everyone. Care, don’t just pretend to. Listen to everyone. Love everyone and nothing at the same time. Its impossible to be everything,but you can’t stop trying to do it all.
All I know is that I have no idea where I am right now. I feel like I am in training for something, making progress with every step I take. I fear standing still. It is my greatest weakness.
I talk big, but often don’t follow through. That’s my biggest problem. I don’t even know what to think right now. It’s about time I start to take a jump. Fuck starting to take. Just jump-over everything. Leap.
It’s time to be aggressive. You’ve started to speak your mind, now keep going with it, but not with the intention of sparking controversy or picking a germane fight. Get your gloves on, it’s time for rebirth. There IS no room for the nice guys in the history books.
THIS IS THE START OF A REVOLUTION. THE REVOLUTION IS YOUR LIFE. THE GOAL IS IMMORTALITY. LET’S LIVE, BABY. LET’S FEEL ALIVE AT ALL TIMES. TAKE NO PRISONERS. HOLD NO SOUL UNACCOUNTABLE, ESPECIALLY NOT YOUR OWN. IF SOMETHING DOESN’T HAPPEN, IT’S YOUR FAULT.
Make this moment your reckoning. Your head has been held under water for too long and now it is time to rise up and take your first true breath.
Do everything with exact calculation, nothing without meaning. Do not make careful your words, but make no excuses for what you say. Fuck em’ all. Set a goal for everyday and never be tired.”
― Brian Krans, A Constant Suicide
For me: This is enough. I am in a great place and ready to spend the rest of it, with less, thereby giving me more. Whatever that might mean. I just know that right now. This is enough.
Time with dad – Spokane
Spokane at Haute Pink Photo studios – grandkids and dads –
End of the line – RIP mom
Family line climbing the hill to visit mom – Montana
Mile marker 13
Mother and daughter/sister and niece.. love makes ya smile
Grandkids by Allie Hannah Photography – Spokane
“Experience has taught us that material wants know no natural bounds, that they will expand without end unless we consciously restrain them. Capitalism rests precisely on this endless expansion of wants. That is why, for all its success, it remains so unloved. It has given us wealth beyond measure, but has taken away the chief benefit of wealth: the consciousness of having enough.”
― Robert Skidelsky Edward Skidelsky, How Much Is Enough? Money and the Good Life
Enough: You Are Enough; Stop being Perfect; What is Enough; “Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.” Enough, or: Not; If you had a billion US dollars..; When is it enough?; TOO MUCH? OR NOT ENOUGH?; Slow Down; Enough is not enough; Enough is Enough; A Better Life; coffee, can’t get enough of it!; When nothing is enough; Indices of life; Do hoarders ever have enough?; Wednesday Challenge – Enough; Enough; #Retirement made me an artist#