Reflections

by Mike

This is going to be a different kind of post.  For those who come here expecting commentary on my investing activity you will be sorely disappointed.  I will try to tie it into why we invest, but I make no promises.

Wednesday Dividend Mantra had a nice reflective post on why he continues to work and save: to one day enjoy beautiful days without work taking away from it.  It reminded me of the balance I have been trying to find this summer: enjoying today while planning for tomorrow.

After reading his post I thought for a while about how many todays I’m willing to sacrifice at the expense of a comfortable tomorrow.  How do I balance the want/needs of the Mike today versus those of the Mike tomorrow?

I recently purchased a motorcycle.  I’ve wanted one for sometime, but had never learned to ride.  A friend of mine was selling his and I figured it was a good chance to get a small beginner bike at a decent price.  I have not been disappointed.  In my first month of motorcycle ownership I logged 2064 miles.  Riding is a beautiful thing and brings great joy to my life.

Last night I had my first accident.  A dog ran out in front of me and I hit it.  It dismounted me from my bike and other than some road rash and busted up hip, I think I will be ok.  Any accident you walk away from is a good one in my book.   This post is being written early in the morning with a nice bourbon buzz and a brain permeated with the effects of pain killers.  The reader has been warned.

The fragility of life is nothing new to me.  My line of work has brought me in contact with the newly dead as well as those who have been dead for some time.  I’ve seen children die and the elderly come to the end of their life.  I’ve watched peaceful deaths and deaths come in moments of tragedy, souls given up too soon.  Last night wasn’t a near death experience for me.  I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes or anything quite so dramatic.  I did have a strong urge to talk to the ones I love most and an almost instantaneous realization of what truly matters to me.  Pain brings an instantaneous recognition that you are here, that you exist and for the time being you will continue to do so.  I am hurt, but not injured.

WAKE UP!!!    You and I are much more than our saving rate, dividend checks or net worth.  Life is temporal and we dishonour it most when we insist on making it permanent.  I’m not suggesting we all go out and spend our saving on whatever.  I merely suggest we find balance in preparation for tomorrow with the enjoyment of today.  Our days are numbered.

Stop.  Take stock of your life at this point.  Are you happy?  Are you happy to a degree that reflects the fact that at this moment you exist, you, mere human that you are, have come into existence for a brief amount of time.  What will you do with it??????

May your days be long and your enjoyment run deep…

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