Friend of this blog Old AF Sarge posted a thought-provoking duet of posts on the death of a neighbor and the passage of time (original posts here and here). In short, they talk about the death of a long-time neighbor and the thoughts that surround such situations. Perspective gathering, as it were (the second one is also interesting in that it covers a discussion of open versus closed casket, with some interesting perspectives).
The title of the second post is actually taken from a commenter - "Do It Now - Rob".
Traveling, and the sudden health issue of The Director, has put me in a reflective mood.
There is always a careful balance that needs to be maintained between the concept of "Carpe Diem" (Seize the Day) and managing for the future. Too often in the past, speaking only for myself, I have been in the camp of "Do It Now" - with not always great outcomes; the enthusiasm of the young not tempered by wisdom leads to disaster just as often or more so than it leads to success.
At the same time, managing for the future bears its own set of issues. Undoubtedly we all know of individuals that planned and planned for the future, only to have something devastating happen - a death, a lifestyle change, an event - that destroys the value of all the planning. The vacations long planned for are never taken, the good clothes carefully selected dress one only for their funeral.
I wonder if some of this is related to age and experience, that many times the advice of "do it now" is given to the young without the admonition of "and plan for the future" and that the advice of "keep planning for the future" is accepted by the old without the caveat of "and the future is coming pretty quickly".
But I find myself in a unique position at the moment, poised (literally) between the past 14 years and the beginning of a new experience.
Literally outside of iaijutsu, almost everything has changed. Our home has changed with the impending departure of the last child. My job of the last seven years, with its known factors and quantities, has expired to be replaced by a new job where (literally) no-one knows me and a second job where I can literally just shut up and work. My gym has changed (a much bigger deal than one might think). How often and how long I go to Old Home is likely to changed, but also with the caveat that we are likely not staying here forever.
All of this wants to make me more of the latter, the "and I will manage for the future". Which is prudent, as I do not know what the future of the next six months will look like. At the same time, I need to push myself out to "Do it now".
What does that look like? I am not sure, to be honest with you. Certainly being willing to try different things is on the list. If something seems interesting, I should probably try it, it being a great deal like seeing something unique or long searched for in a store: you should buy it as likely you will not see it again. Probably being willing to do some more traveling with The Ravishing Mrs. TB.
We should always plan for the future - but like I have often said about eschatological discussions about pre-millennial, post-millennial, or a-millennial, if one dies tomorrow, the entire discussion is moot: the end has come. Let us not make planning for the future so focused that we fail to see the joys and challenges (and even fun) that is here in front of us.
Do it now, indeed.