Blogging, Spending

Santa Con or Cat Festival movie?

Retire smartly

Choices

Today I’m waking up on a crisp Saturday morning waiting for wifey to shake out the cobwebs and get ready.

She convinced me earlier in the week to attend the first annual Cat Festival movie.  What did I get myself into?  Her invitation has given me pause to think about where my priorities are now that we’re just past 50.  You see, I was hoping to at least check out Santa Con this year.  An event that has thousands of people dressing up as Santa Clause, Mrs. Clause, reindeer or Christmas trees.  After getting dressed, it’s basically a pub crawl around the city.

Drunken pub crawl or feline fun? If you haven’t figured out yet, that we’re “cat people”, you need to meet my cat Merry. We took her in off the streets on Christmas eve 7 years ago.  She’s added a lot of depth and love to our life.

When I cruise the the blog universe looking at all the well laid out plans, I never see any comments about “Oh yeah…I could die early and all this planning will be for nothing”.  I mean, it probably won’t be for nothing, but it’s possible that the author won’t be enjoying the fruits of their hard work.

Everybody dies

These days I’m also thinking about my sister-in-law who is about 42 and lost her Mom in October of 2016 and then lost one of her childhood idols in George Michael this time last year.  It’s a perspective that younger people might not be able to fully appreciate.  I know I didn’t.  Then my High school friends started dying, then my nephew was killed in a gun accident, then my sister died of cancer.  Things happen.

My comment to her when she called to tell me this news was “Everybody dies Margaret”.   If that sounds cold or callous I’m sorry, but it’s the truth.

Life is full of curve balls.  Things that you don’t expect and were never expecting would happen to YOU.  That’s why they call them curve balls.  I don’t think people plan enough for curve balls.  In reality (for me at least) the difference between a net worth of $1M or 1.5M isn’t really going to make all that much difference based on my likely time horizon.  My focus is really about enjoying as much of life now, and not in some future world that is not guaranteed.  Sometimes you really do need to spend $100 on lunch, and just not worry about it.

When I look at choices like the choice between Santa Con or a Cat Festival movie, it’s a much easier choice for me lately.  I’d rather be present than drunk to oblivion.  I’d rather be engaged than back slapping someone.  These life choices are the new challenge and learning period for me, as opposed to saving money by pinching pennies.  We still live a fairly frugal life, but we’re not in the hyper saving mode that often created tension and unnecessary competition between us.

Along with financial responsibility we really need to consider exactly how we intend to live in all those years we’re saving for.  It’s not always an easy choice.

Life is a long journey. (insert your own metaphor here) but it needs to be enjoyed while you’re above ground.