Saturday, 5 May 2007

There's No Rush.

I have an occasional student, he's nearing his sixties in age, wears good suits, charismatic and owns something like 10 different companies in various industries. So he's a pretty successful businessman. One of the topics we often talk about is the subject of his friends passing the retirement age - finally being able to put their work down and spend the rest of their years playing golf, going travelling and all rest of that good stuff we hope to reach one day.

Most of them died within the first two years of retiring...

He tells me that his friends were hardworking, successful people who suddenly found themselves with all this free time to do their own thing, no burdens, no worries. Only without a job or real purposeful target to focus on, their minds become lax and their bodies eventually won over. I guess there's only so much golf you can play before it loses its meaning. Thats why the man doesnt want to retire, he plans to stay busy with his businesses even after he hands the reigns over to his sons. I enjoy his lessons coz I can relate - both my grandparents on my mum's side still get up at 6am everyday to goto work... and they past 70 many many moons ago now...

Its weird that when we're working, we look forward to the holidays... but when we have just a lil too much holiday, we tend to end up wishing that we had something worthwhile to do - something with a bit of meaning. Life is partly about distracting ourselves from the boredom sometimes.

Hence my greedy approach to life, I wanna be able to experience everything. But I definitely don't want to have achieved everything I wanna achieve before I'm 30. I know people who are well on their way to doing so, and its definitely great that they can - I both admire them for their dedication to be able to get to where they are in life and naturally jealous. Coz they're usually richer than me, and my mum likes to use these people as examples as to why I should hurry up and get back and get a Real Job... (0.o)

I don't wanna get to where I'm going too fast coz I'm having too much fun getting there in the first place. The buzz comes from the transitions between two points, it's about the journey and all that. Humans define the world by contrast; we see objects by finding the edges, we hear melodies by hearing the different notes. And we only truly appreciate something when we have knowledge about just how far its opposite is. Or in other words, to use my fav analogy:

You don't know the true meaning of relief until that point where you go pee. After having to hold it in for a week.

[And swinging back from that tangent...] Now I can definitely understand why people wanna marry young, why they'd feel like they wanna settle down and start a family. Its not a bad dream; getting the job, having the family, growing old in the safe haven that you've created yourself. Maybe just 20yrs ago, this ideal would have been pretty clear - people saw the world around them and it wasn't difficult to see how they could make their own place within it. It's an ideal that has been built upon generations of familial structure and eons of primeval instinct. However, the world back then was a lot bigger than the world we live in today.

Today we have global travel available on a whim, ideas and information spreads worldwide in minutes and hours, a more prevalant attitude in people to become more aware of the things that happen beyond what they can just see and hear about. I don't think we're any less curious than our parents and grandparents. I think we have more opportunities available to us in this generation than at any other time before us. If my grandparents could visit as many places as we can now when they were young, I have no doubt that they would have.

I do wanna get settled down one day, marry my hot 19yr old wife, have my eight kids, build my army, etc. But dammit there's too much before I wanna do before then. Soooooo many experiences to err... experience.

Besides, my wife hasn't been born yet.

Some of my students sometimes tell me that while they agree with the mentality, they're afraid that they'll leave it too late and then get too old to play with their kids like a young family should. I then tell them about my grandad who went paragliding at 60...

No such thing as too old. (^_^)v


Dammit if I was a better at crafting the ponderings I have when I'm in the shower into words - this coulda been one of the sexiest essays ever (=.=)


Newton said...

Despite my recent attitude, I used to think exactly the same man. Back in high school and university I had always believed that the journey was more important than the outcome. I always did everything and thus have been poor my entire life.

It's true, it's the journey that makes it fun. When you reach the end you never look at the result, but all the hardships that were overcome to get there.

But you see, once you hit the end it isn't the end (Unless you want it to be). Those without the power to go on will stop and settle down, others will use the chance to begin a new journey. That's the way I see it. We talked about it before and I am pretty sure that the two of us aren't the types to lie down and die (Metaphorically speaking).

The only difference is, are you the type to extend an exciting journey, or are you the type to cram as many (good or bad) journeys into one lifetime?

Judging from our recent stories (Your Kombo, My Combo) I can vaguely guess where we both lie on the scale :P


Brian Lau said...

I recks one good journey is worth ten bad lessons.

I'd choose one filet mignon over ten rump roasts.

The ten maybe more filling, but you get so much more pleasure out of that one juicy meat... (O_o)