lives well lived

This morning we were up bright and early, making a real South African breakfast for two of our friends who made our home their first stop on their big adventure.
Les took early retirement (very early) and he and Sharon set out today on a journey with no fixed destination or time scales which will take them around a large part of Southern Africa. They are completely free to go where their whim (or God) leads them.

As Les said this morning, "I could have worked longer and got a better pension, but why? You don't need a lot of money to be happy".

I stole this picture off their blog here. (Sorry Les. Sure you'll tell me if you mind)It gives you an idea of what their home will be for the next six months or more.

I really admire people who are prepared to live life to the full.

I really despair when I think of the people I know who are not prepared to stray an inch off the path of the conventional. I want to cry when I think of all those who reach retirement age and then sit around, getting more grey and more dull and dying in stages until they leave the world without ever having had a "why the hell not?" moment.

I think that having reached this stage of my life, I've proved that I'm not likely to ever grow up or be serious or make the sensible choice. And that's just the way I want it to be.

When I was a child, I remember often asking my mother "Why not?" and her answer was invariably "because it's just not done". I don't think she ever realised how much I was screaming inside, or how important that answer was in shaping my life.

I want to do things because I can, because it's cool and because it's fun. I want big adventures and all the risks that go with them. I want to experience life first hand. I want to still be living until the day I die.

Luckily, Greg wants that too... so the rest of this journey should be great.


B said…
You are so right! When I left my job to go travelling in South America for a year a couple of years ago, my friends literally could not believe that I'd choose to leave a permanent job for something like that, even if it was something I've always wanted to do. But it was an amazing experience and I only hope to be able to do it again, probably when I retire, like your friends!
Lynne said…
absolutely B... and you proved that we don't have to wait for retirement. I'm still dreaming of Russia...
I'm not sure I'd make the choice they made, but I applaud them for audacious choices. And by the way, thanks for your comment on the post. It's one of the meditations for my book on loss and growth.
Molly said…
Oooo, husband & I dream of doing this one day! Very envious ...
And PS - thanks for your comment the other day, pls tell your son it's one of the best headlines ever!
julochka said…
i love being around people who live life to its fullest as well. but sometimes i despair of finding them and spending enough time with them. i think it's part of what i love about the blogosphere.

sorry, i've been a bit behind in getting here. writing for work like a madwoman and it's totally cutting into my blog reading time!!

love the new look!!

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