As my regular readers have noticed, I haven’t been posting as often as I’ve done in the past. Much of that is that a lot of stuff is swirling around in my head, post-graduation, and I have to pick one of them. Many bloggers comment on what’s in the news, many of them doing a better job than I would do. Many bloggers also post what’s essentially a personal diary, made public. I’ve done that somewhat — what with my updates — but this blog isn’t just a diary.
And, as seen in my previous post, I have these squirrels in my head. But one phrase comes up, over and over again: “Stay healthy, stay solvent.”
I completed my Concealed Handgun Licence class this past Saturday with three of my friends and thirteen strangers from different walks of life. Our CHL instructor was a 71-year old, ex-SpecFor who did NOT look 71 years old. Looking at him, he looked like somebody in his late 50s, early 60s, tops. Hearing his stories about himself throughout the ten-hour class, I realized that what kept him aging well was 1) mentally keeping active and passionate in what he was learning, and 2) physically keeping active — even with his two metal knees, he’s an avid tennis player.
His experiences made me aware of my desire to live not only a very long time, but also to have the ability to act on any opportunities that will take me to that sci-fi frontier — space station, moon, Mars….
I know that I am being silly. I have just finished my Ph.D., an accomplishment in itself. I am working in my field. I have a solid, middle-class lifestyle. Why can’t I just rest on my laurels, work in my career, pay off the house, have and raise kids, and someday retire, secure in my golden years?
I wish I can answer that question rationally, but there’s nothing rational about it. I want to see the stars beyond Earth’s atmosphere… someday. I want to have a reason to be in space… someday. I want to live beyond 100, and not as a decrepit person, bed-ridden, but active, contributing to whatever society I happen to be in… someday. I want all this because… because…
Because I do.
And that’s so long-term, so long-view, so *idealistic*, with many things out of my control. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow. I could be stricken with cancer next year. I could be at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and some psychopath could take my life (but not without me damn well trying to take him or her out with me), five years from now. These things are out of my control.
But now — NOW — what I can control is how healthy I am and how financially solvent I can be. Live long, live rich. I can try for these things — these are within my control. I am doing little, baby steps for these things someday, which, happily, also helps the people I love around me in the here-and-now. And perhaps — perhaps — if I am fortunate enough, body and soul, I will see the Earth as that beautiful blue-green sphere in a coal-black sky. Someday.
Too many squirrels, like I said. Way too many.