Month: May 2021

What will be your goodbye….

Did you ever think how your goodbye is going to be.  You can dream up scenarios, take inspiration from movies and TV, but reality has a way of being so different.  You never will know who will truly miss you, how you will be missed, who will talk about you fondly and who will go on like you were never in their lives.  When the time comes we can only hope that we did connect with a few and changed people’s lives for the better.  

When I start to think about it, there are two analogies that come to mind. 

In sports you often hear that the athlete wants to leave on his/her own terms.  Although this is not possible in every situation, we often make fun of those who stayed too long. We also lament many who left too soon.   But when the choice is not theirs we refer to it as a tragedy.    The sudden loss of an athlete from the sport they excel leaves us feel empty wondering why could have been, and what they could have accomplished.   Some we wish never stopped playing and celebrate their careers.   Often what is left is only memories and if we are lucky some videos. 

In music you often hear the same thing.  We often wonder what could have been for those who left sooner than we wanted. We wish they could have made more music.  We were lucky to get to hear the sound of their voice or their virtuoso on an instrument.   For those who remain too long we hope when we see them, we hope they can recapture glory of the old days and bring back the feeling their music brought us in our youth.  And when they are gone we often make fun of them for well being there “too long” and no knowing when to leave.  

But these are examples of outsiders in our world.  When the person is in our world that goodbye is not followed by headlines of news, global reaction and famous tweets.  Maybe on social media there are few comments from friends and family.  But for most it is just shock, disbelief and reflection.  If you are lucky you are surrounded by loves ones old and new consoling your loss.   We don’t talk about if they stayed too long nor about what they didn’t accomplish.  But still is someone that isn’t you.     

But when it is time for your own goodbye will you be at peace, will you watch your life flash before your eyes and will you have accomplished the things you wanted to do.  Did you say yes to something that scares you, did you take that job that was a stretch, did you help that stranger you did not know, did you forgive someone who did something unforgivable, did you apologize for the things you did wrong, did you thank the people who helped you along the way, told the people close to you how much you mean to them,  did you raise your kids to be good people first, and did you find your sole mate.

I don’t know why I think about these things on the anniversary of my wife’s passing, these should be things I think of every day and follow.  I know I am posting this a day early as I have no idea what I will be thinking over the next few days, and not wanting to ruin mothers day for those close to me.   Every day I just try to be a better person and move forward.  I hope that the legacy I pass down to my kids is one that the also pass along.  Unlike an athlete or musician, I hope I can stay too long to see as much as I can and no one says what could have been.  I hope I do most of what I listed above and when my life passes before my eyes I see all of my friends and family there.

It is now 4 years and for me I believe I have done the best that I can.  I still talk fondly of the great memories and have people close to me sharing that part of my life.   I wrote last year that I hope this year we will be talking about getting together, going out and this would all be behind us.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and I can wait to celebrate, be around friends, family and loved ones.  I apologize for this being so long, but appreciate those who read it all.  This is just one of the many things I have written over the past few years, and mostly during the pandemic I have written a lot, and it has been therapy and well as a passion.

Thanks for being there… 

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.

How time changes when you grow older…

As I get older I noticed something, the days seem to go by slow and the years are going by fast. It seemed like yesterday the kids were toddlers, and today well they are almost 20. I really started to think about why that happens. And without my kids knowing what I was doing I asked them some questions, and realized they seem to think the days go by fast, and the years slow. Just like I thought.

So I wanted to know why, and came up with my thoughts. Please note, I did not do any experiments, talk to 100s of people to see what they thought but just something I see in myself.

When you are young, there are dozens of milestones that are years (1-2-3 etc.) away, as you get older those milestones seem to go away. When you are younger, things like your first birthday, first day of Pre-k/K, first day of first grade, first day of middle school, getting to be “10,” becoming a teen (13), first day of high school, sweet 16, drivers license (17 for me in NJ), getting to be an adult (18), being 20 (no longer a teen) and then 21 (drinking age) and other things may include going to college (or trade school) getting that first career job, finding your soul mate, moving into your first “own” place and possibly starting your own family. This is a whole bunch of things that happen between when you are born to sometime in your are in your 20s. Look there can be dozens more depending on location, background, religion, race, family values etc. For example in many areas of the US getting your first car is big, but some people in other areas don’t even want to drive. What happens when you are passed all that, your milestones seem to be closer to retiring.

So mentally what I believe is that your mind sees a milestone that is a year or two away. That anticipation of wanting to reach that goal so quickly you feel those years go so slow. Your desire to want to get there so quickly, it seems so far away. Your can’t wait, and when you can’t wait for something it just seem it is taking forever. Funny we have some of these micro “goals” in a day and have these tricks our mind plays on us. Say you go to a restaurant and you are told the wait is about 20 minutes. If you are starving that 20 minutes feels like an hour, if you are not that hungry it doesn’t seem that long.

As I think about it even more, there are probably a ton of these smaller ones as a young kid, like first dance, holidays etc. that get you so excited and you can’t wait for the event. But it is your brain that is making you think about time differently. The length of a second, minute, hour, day and year have not changed. Our perception of the days and the years that are different.

Having kids I also think changes your perception. You always hear someone say “they grow up so fast” and having two girls I can say the same. But being a kids once before I heard my kids say the same things I did like “I can’t wait till this year is over,” “I can’t wait till I drive” and the worst on “I can’t wait till I am an adult.”

I thought about the can’t wait till the year is over, and it really is about school. Kids of the summer off, thus getting to the part of the year where there is no school is the long wait. Actually any wait for a long break is something kids also mention often. As an adult most jobs do not have a break, we work all year long. Of course we have some holidays and vacation (note i know everyone doesn’t get those perks) but at the end of the day we don’t have “yearly” breaks. So this is kinda like the restaurant, they want no school and its this anticipation the brain perceives as taking a long time.

Of course what kids do not realize is that their desire to become an adult they do not get that time off and they will not enjoy the length of the year. That same theory for the kids also goes to why kids think summer goes fast, and everyone thinks their favorite season goes so fast. It is also why some people like me who are not fans of the winter think it goes by slow.

In my office we often hear the statement that perception equals reality. So if you think the years are going by slow, well they are, and at my age as I think the years are flying by, well they are also. But at least now I think I understand what happened to me when I was young, and now as I am older why my years seem to fly by.

As and Adult, the look forward is not time/date set, or its a long time off. Retirement is also not a set date (like sweet 16, or HS graduation) – So these really long targets don’t seem to be in our heads. I do think that waiting for out kids milestones should have some entry into our brain, but its not the same. The anticipation is just not the same when it is for someone else. Thought in my situation I could not wait for the kids to have the ability to drive to help out.

Other milestones like promotions at work, changing jobs, kids getting married, being a grandparent, getting the first AARP membership invite (for some reason it seems earlier and earlier age wise) – getting a Sr discount is not things that are 1-2 years away. Our brains don’t have that milestone so close we think it takes forever.

I have heard that people think it is because at age 5 that 1 day is a larger percentage of you life than 50. But although I can sorta except that as a reason, I don’t think that plays as much as the anticipation. Our perception of time is fascinating to me, and hope this gets you to think about time, and try not to waste any of it. And yes, the perception doesn’t change the reality that a second is the same for the total of your life.

This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free.  I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them

This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book.  With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path.  I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content.  I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip.  I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog.

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