It is rather sad, after all. One spends their life hearing about the virtues of delayed gratification. You can always do it later. That is usually coupled with something else the speaker thinks is much more important and that you should be doing for them, instead, right now. Your wants can wait, theirs can’t. Parents, employers, spouses, children. Then, as your “golden years” approach, you discover that your dreams just aren’t possible anymore. You kick the bucket list.
A human is born. Odds are they will get slapped into a daycare facility. Mom and Pop lack the time (or maybe the inclination) to be a full-time parent. Then we get stuck in a pre-school. Same reasoning. Plus, what more important thing could a 4-year-old possibly have to do but prepare for kindergarten? Then it is off to elementary, then middle school, then high school.
This is all prep for either a vocational school, a college or a low wage impoverished existence. Having completed the education track, if you are a typical worker bee, there is a now a treadmill for you to run. No time for anything but home acquisition, marriage, child rearing, perhaps climbing the corporate ladder, the seniority list – or perhaps just never going anywhere. Socking away enough money for the kid’s tuition, for your retirement or maybe just to stay alive. Always prepping for an uncertain future instead of being alive in the present. Retirement keeps getting pushed back because there are not enough worker bees to pay for the social security you were promised. As your “golden years” approach, you may discover that they are really lead.
There are the lucky ones among us. The ones who had the liberty, the resources, and the boldness to go adventuring when they were younger. Some are even fortunate enough to make it a lifelong passion, perhaps a job in a field they loved. No need to postpone anything here. Or a career path that is both remunerative and offers free time for such things.
There are also the people who made it thru to their “golden years” with bodies intact. With the right genes, fifty could be the new forty. Yes, there are septuagenarians who can hike the Appalachian Trail. They are rare, with exceptional genetics.
For the rest of us, it is a lie. Nothing but a phrase meant to dupe the young into thinking they should bust their asses now to enjoy it later. Seventy must become the “new” 60 just so we don’t get so pissed off at having to work longer. We aren’t living longer because medicine has slowed aging. We live longer because medicine can keep us alive in an older state.
I am not now the man I once was. I was never the man I wanted to be. And a year from now I’ll be even less capable. It is a grim reality that everyone faces, eventually.
Gather ye rosebuds, my friends. Think twice before you put off living for a more convenient time. Entropy always wins.