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Monday, April 14, 2008

Give Me an "L"

Maude: A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They're just backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room. ~ Harold and Maude

***

It has come to my attention that I might not be preparing as well as I might for my future. Certain people who love me very much are concerned that I have no savings, no money. (Well, so what else is new? When do people have all that they need, in the bank and in their hearts?)

I suppose it can be said that I'm at that part of my life where I am halfway to being dead. But who is not? And who knows what will happen tomorrow?

It's not that I'm profligate with my money; I don't have that much money to be profligate with. But if every penny I make goes in the bank and not to help me live my life while I live right now, I'll be retiring on what?--A lifetime of memories spent working for other people? An existence spent during the hours of 8:30am to 5:30pm?

During the week I make small choices: to go out to lunch and get a hamburger once in a while, or to eat a can of soup and take a dance class instead. Usually I opt for the dance class and the soup. But sometimes I opt for the dance class and the hamburger.

Neither the hamburger or the dance class costs enough money to help me retire comfortably. I suppose giving up a hundred thousand hamburgers or a hundred thousand dance classes would be a start towards something practical.

But I'm hoping that the enjoyment of having them might give me something to smile about when I am too old to eat the hamburger or get up out of my chair to dance.

If I live that long.

I don't want to retire on a dearth of experiences. I'll be old soon enough anyway, why start now? I'm not trying to be maudlin or sad, just practical.

But thank you for thinking of me...I love you, too.

***

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. ~ Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

***



From one of my favorite films, Harold and Maude:

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are

And if you want to live high, live high
And if you want to live low, live low
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

Chorus:
You can do what you want
The opportunity's on
And if you find a new way
You can do it today
You can make it all true
And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah
its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know

Well if you want to say yes, say yes
And if you want to say no, say no
'Cause there's a million ways to go
You know that there are

And if you want to be me, be me
And if you want to be you, be you
'Cause there's a million things to do
You know that there are

13 comments:

Gentimiento April 14, 2008 at 7:33 AM  

TB,

Do you know the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die? Well, to enjoy any of the places described in the that book requires giving up on a large number of hamburgers. Have you thought about compiling a list of 10,000 Things To Do Before You Die That Will Bring Smiles To Your Face And Won't Cost You More Than A Few Hamburgers? You will have a blast writing it, and its publication will bring you a fortune with which to retire.

Gentimiento

Red shoes April 14, 2008 at 9:34 AM  

There is no future guaranteed, whether we save for it or not. Nothing, nothing is ever guaranteed. All we have is right now, and while there's something to be said for responsibility and planning ahead, it's so much more important to live now.

So let's go get a burger soon.

Johanna April 14, 2008 at 9:51 AM  

TB: you know, of course, that we are clones...

Harold and Maude - one of the all-time best movies. EVAR.

I second gentimiento's idea. But I think you need a writing partner...

Tina April 14, 2008 at 10:17 AM  

Brava, chica. :-)

tangobaby April 14, 2008 at 10:20 AM  

Hi Gentimento,

Thank you for giving me a big smile this morning! It sounds like you may already have some great ideas about what I can put in that book. If I write that book, I will be sure to dedicate it to you, for giving me the idea in the first place.

Hi Red Shoes,

You're so right. I'm not trying to be irresponsible, but to measure my time now in relation to what is presented to me at this time. There are so many wonderful options to enjoy oneself. Having a sweet friend like you is like icing on the cake.

Burger, crepe, dosa, empanada...say the word!

Hi Johanna,

Clones? I like to think twins separated at birth by a couple of years... ;-)

Of course we will have a project together someday. That goes without saying. Maybe we just found out what it is!

Who's watching Harold and Maude tonight?!

xo

Johanna April 14, 2008 at 10:24 AM  

Yes, but of course. Identical twins. Or identical cousins - a la Patty Duke.

Now, someone PLEASE explain that biological phenomenon...

tangobaby April 14, 2008 at 10:40 AM  

Hola Tina,

Thank you... you are one of the people that inspires me and a lot of others to live more *now*.

Hi Johanna,

Who is Patty Duke?!!

paris parfait April 14, 2008 at 4:39 PM  

I go for experiences, every time. They are priceless. :) All the rest sorts itself out...xoxox

Relyn April 14, 2008 at 6:41 PM  

I think of the people who die with their best wedding silver still in its wrappings. The saddest part? It's tarnished anyway. I say, eat the burger, go to a dance class, travel again to Paris. Live now. Now is all we know for certain. (Wonderful advice from a Someday kind of a girl, I know. I'm learning from you, actually.)

tangobaby April 14, 2008 at 8:07 PM  

Hi Paris Parfait,

I know you do. I can tell in every word you write. ;-)

Hi Relyn,

Yes, you are so right, Now is all we know for today. And as the saying goes, you can't take it with you. Use that silver!

I know how it is to be a Someday Girl. I was one for a very long time. The only thing about not being a Someday Girl anymore is that now I am an Impatient Girl. (When?!!)

xo

Alex April 15, 2008 at 3:57 AM  

Hola baby...a few thoughts...

I'm with you on this...

"Death is the climax of life..."

"Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?"

Write the book, and then invest in my idea for "Tango City", a tango centric retirement/"active adult" community, where all the old followers and leaders go. No, forget the investment, we'll go for a government grant. All we need are a couple of those missing pallettes of cash from Iraq. I'll start poking around looking for it on Bush's neighbor's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Sounds like a plan.

studio wellspring April 15, 2008 at 9:23 AM  

we have yet another thing in common: money philosophy! ;o)
carpe diem, sweetpea!

tangobaby April 15, 2008 at 12:50 PM  

Hi Alex,

I don't know if I agree entirely with the second one, unless it applies to filing your taxes (tee hee) or making doctor's appointments.

If you find any of that money, let me know--I know there's a pile of it with my name on it.

And as for your retirement community idea, we all know that the old milongueros still get the hot young babes, so there will have to be some sort of provision for the old retired gals like me that we won't be sitting around not dancing even though we've invested all this money in your property!

Hi Ms. Wellspring,

I think we should have a commune somewhere and pool our resources. Like a treehouse, but better.

xo