As I have probably mentioned in the recent past, my wonderful brother passed away in October and I have been scurrying around, working on settling his estate. He didn’t have assets in the billionaire range, but he had enough to have lasted him for a number of years.
Something I remember telling him when we talked about his legacy was that he ought to enjoy his nest egg and his retirement while he was still healthy enough to do so. He traveled occasionally to Oregon for the Shakespeare festivals and to Chicago to visit a treasured uncle. But he never saw Europe and probably missed at least half of the United States.
The point of all this is to do whatever it is that you want to do while you have the ability to do so. The same goes for buying those things that will make you happy. It seems that he followed my advice in small ways. He had more computers and watches than any one person could use in several lifetimes. But he died way too soon, leaving many journeys undone.
This experience has taught me important lessons about my life and how I want to spend these last years. While I care deeply about my substitute teaching, I no longer work the four or five days per week that I did before. Instead, I tell myself that one or two days per week will be enough. In spite of the fact that we have a huge shortage of teachers in my district, my presence or absence won’t impact that shortage in any significant way and I tell myself that my comfort and health have priority.
If you’ve waited all your life for a fast car and you have the money to buy it, do so. If you’ve always wanted to visit Hong Kong, book your reservation as soon as possible. We have learned so much from this pandemic, the most significant lesson of which is that life is uncertain and unpredictable at best.
As Robert Herrick stated in, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.