Don’t Let The Rat Race Today -Kill Tomorrows Memories

You’re driving to work and traffic is barely crawling, out of know where a thought hits you…

Why Am I Doing This?

I would rather be fishing or hunting or maybe even scuba diving.

You begin to feel all warm and fuzzy remembering the times when you first went into the woods with your dad, grandfather and uncles.

How about the time when you saw your dad do ____. That was the coolest thing ever.

Or how about the time your grandfather did _____ to your dad, and everyone laughed like hell.

Or your dad told you when he was a boy about going hunting and the crazy things they did. You always wanted to give it a try.

The traffic begins to move a little faster and yesterdays memories vanish, because the rat race you call your life has no room for them.

Can I Tell You Everyone’s Worst Nightmare?

The traffic didn’t go far before it stopped again. Instead of looking backwards, you take a journey into the future…

You’re fortunate… You lived a long life and made it into your early seventies.

Unfortunately like a lot of other members in your family, you can see yourself slowing down in your mid fifties and falling apart in your early sixties.

You’re lying in bed stuck in a friggin nursing home, struggling to take the next breath, knowing that your next may be your last. Your scared, really, really scared, because you’re all alone and the worst part… you fear the unknown… dying, and it hurts, oh it hurts so bad…

Every hour or so a nurse comes in your room to check on you. But, this afternoon is different, when she comes by at 3:30 and as part of her routine she grabs your wrist to check your pulse, and looks at her watch, but instead of writing down your pulse on the chart… she writes down the time of your death. She pulls the sheet over your head, goes back to the nurses’ station and calls the morgue. The administrative staff at the nursing home fills the vacancy you created in their business with another poor sap coming there waiting to die.

And The Worst Part?

The next day, the sun still comes up and the birds are still singing. People are stuck in the same traffic, on their way to work, stuck in their own little rat race and nobody cares that you’re gone. The great wheel of life doesn’t fly off the wagon because your gone, it just keeps on keepin on, and you’re forgotten.

Scary , Huhhhh?

It won’t happen to you… NOPE!

Just writing it down, probably sounds bad to most, but in my case it brings back memories. My father was not as fortunate, he was only 63 when he passed away.

That was 20 years ago.

Our Greatest Fears

It’s not dying that scares the hell out of most of us, it’s being forgotten. We go through life running on a hamster wheel,  worrying about how much money we can make so we can help others, our children and our grand children.

On the surface that sounds warm and fuzzy, but deep down inside we want to leave our children and others things so they never forget us when we’re gone.

To accomplish these feats, we get caught up in the rat race, work, work, work… gotta make more… I don’t have enough. And the hamster wheel is turning fast,  I got to help kid #1 this week, gotta work extra…. that wheel is turning so fast it will kill someone if it were to fly out of the cage.

The stuff my father left behind is stuck in a closet somewhere. My brothers and I are always trying to pawn off Dad’s stuff (that’s gathering dust) on one another one, because we would fell guilty as hell if we threw something important away.

Here’s the kicker… We store it for years and then… Give it to our kids so they can feel guilty!

We let our mind play tricks on us, believing that we have to make an extra $500 this month so I can buy X. I will use it for awhile but I know the #2 kid would want it when I die, because (s)he loves X so much. I have my mother’s china and my wife has her grandmother’s china in our possession… and its collecting dust in several boxes that costs us space to store.

I’m being honest here. I believe that’s the reason many don’t go in the woods, or fishing or enjoy life anymore. There’s something comforting about knowing you’re working to make your kids lives better, so they remember you when you’re gone.

You could kick the bucket tomorrow, and your worldly possessions will live on.

You Got It Backwards

If you believe that… Your Wrong!

I am first generation; my parents have been dead for a long time. Neither was rich, but they both had a lot of stuff. All they left is gone (used up) or taking up space in our house collecting dust. The primary thing I inherited with the stuff was a guilty conscience, because I knew I was going straight to hell if I throw the stuff away or God forbid… if I sold it.

If your fear is being forgotten when you depart here, then get busy and do something that makes the biggest difference, to prevent you from ever being forgotten…. Spend time with those you don’t want to forget you.

Don’t Let Your Rat Race Today – Steal Tomorrows Memories

First… Do what makes you happy. Have a career that you enjoy from the bottom of your heart.
Then teach your kids or, whoever you want to help, how to make their life better.

I give my kids and their spouse’s worldly advice regularly. I share my experiences so they (not me) can provide a good life for themselves and my grand children. The number one piece of advice I give them all is: have balance in your life.
It’s okay to have a career and a passion for what you do, but spend time with your kids.

There is something extremely comforting hearing my kids teaching the grandkids about something… and their using the same phraseology that I used when I taught them the same thing years ago.

I am comfortable in knowing I will never be forgotten. It’s not the stuff or the money I have that will make them remember me, it’s the time I spend with them. My words will live on, teaching, inspiring, and taking root in the minds of my children and grand children for generations to come.

Most Get This Backwards

I can say this because I know my father in law will never read this. He is more worried about who is going to get his stuff when he dies than he is about spending time with his daughter while he’s alive. We don’t need his stuff, one or two things that were important to him as mementos is fine. But the rest is just more “Stuff” and more guilty conscience to store.

Spending time with him would be what my wife would cherish the most but that’s not an option.

Teach, inspire, while you’re here and don’t get caught up in the rat race to the point it steals tomorrows memories.

My Greatest Inheritance

My mother was a super cook. My wife to this day, puts at least one of my mother’s favorite dishes on our weekly menu. We talk about my mother almost every week, how she did things so efficiently that it looked effortless. My grand kids who weren’t born when she passed away, talk about her like they knew her personally. My wife, for those who have been here, will attest is one hell of a good cook and our children are constantly calling for a recipe.

My father, what he left me in his words and inspiration gets me through every day. He taught me to hunt, fish, and repair most anything with my hands. Don’t get me wrong he kicked my ass if I screwed up (I got my ass kicked a lot) but was proud as any father could be when I got it right.

He never worried about if he would be forgotten, because what he taught me ran through my blood way before he died. Just before I turned 30 (2 days) I put together a real estate deal for a piece of commercial water front property for him and my step mother… he realized what he taught me stuck, and now the student was teaching the teacher.

Get Those Kids In The Woods… NOW!

You can’t give someone else satisfaction… They have to accomplish something they believe is extraordinary to get that feeling.
You have to take a child and show them… how to shoot the knock off an arrow you previously shot in the target.

Or take a .22 rifle and shoot thru the neck of a soda bottle, without touching the neck, knocking just the bottom out. It gives the child something to strive for. That child is thinking quietly to himself: That was cool… My dad did it… I want to learn how to do it. They believe your superman… they want to be just like you dad.

The rat race can be put on hold for 3 – 4 days, because it will be there when you get back, waiting eagerly to steal your time and tomorrows memories, like a thief in the night. It can only steal from you if you leave the door open.

The few extra dollars you would make to buy some trinket you are going to leave your child(ren) as part of your estate, only to collect dust later on and burden that child with a guilty conscience for eternity… let the rat race keep it… and go make tomorrows memories today. Call your buddies, talk to your kids and… Go Hunting In Virginia.

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