Take It Easy
So much has happened since the last time I wrote in this blog. Here’s a snapshot: retired from my church (counseling minister); conducted a marriage seminar for missionary couples in Denver; went on a transatlantic cruise from Florida to Rome (recommend highly if you have the time); traveled for a week in Italy (and did a lot of research on where to find the best gelato); went to Germany to see one of our sons and 4 precious grandchildren; and so much more. Oh, and my wife and I are recovering from cataract surgery and seeing great. Retirement is good!
Having moved from the full-time career working world, I’m writing now from a different context. In fact, I may even change the name of this blog to “Life in the Slow Lane”. One fun event was to see The Eagles in concert. They sang all their big songs, including “Life in the Fast Lane.” I suspect that a majority of us live in the fast lane — busy, over-worked, stressed, trying to keep up, tired, and so much more. I’ve been living in the fast lane and now trying to slow things down, put the car on cruise control and just stay in the right hand lane. It may take a whole 5 minutes longer to “get there,” but I will eventually get there, and with a lot less stress. I don’t mind losing the rat race.
Here’s some lyrics from another Eagles’ song you might remember — “Take I Easy”
Well, I’m running down the road tryin’ to loosen my load, I’ve got seven women on my mind, Four that wanna own me, Two that wanna stone me, One says she’s a friend of mine.
Take it easy, take it easy, Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy,
Lighten up while you still can don’t even try to understand, Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.
Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe, I gotta know if your sweet love is gonna save me.
We may lose and we may win though we will never be here again, so open up, I’m climbin’ in, so take it easy.
Not a lot of deep theology here (ha), but one line toward the end stands out to me: We may lose and we may win, though we will never be here again. I only have one life to live, so why hold back? If I only get one lap, I want to run through the tape, not quit half-way through or worse, to just sit in the stands and watch. Watchers may never lose, but only players ever win. At this point in my life, I want to focus on living with no regrets. I want to get out of the fast lane and savor the scenery.
I end with this. I attended a recent counseling seminar on mental health disorders, and the presenter left us with one last slide that was worth the price of admission. It was called “Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” written by Bronnie Ware, an Australian hospice nurse. She observed the top regrets of people who were in their last 12 weeks of life.
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other’s expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. (Every male patient.) They felt they missed their children’s youth and partner’s companionship.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier. I realized happiness was a choice.
See you again soon. I have some emails to write to old friends.