Monday 27 June 2022

Blogjune Day 27 - I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints

And like that, I've somehow missed three days of #blogjune. In my defence, I've been in the midst of moving into a new space, and there's still a *lot* of unpacking of stuff to do...

Today's question: If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I think so many of our important life decisions are forward-looking, based on assumptions about how our life will go... whether we start a family, or need to hit particular career goals, or want to be able to retired with a sizeable nest egg to keep us comfortable and secure in our final years.

And really, with a life expectancy that's *hopefully* into my 80s and beyond, that's a lot of preparation. Usually in the form of getting a mortgage, and having a salary where I can sufficiently put enough into my super so that I'm not retiring in poverty.

If we only expected to live until 40, my life would be much different. I'd certainly work less - enough to live comfortably within my means without feeling the need to earn more than I necessarily needed to. Probably around 3-4 days a week. I'd spend less much accumulating 'stuff', and spend more time exploring and appreciating the world that I live in. I'd learn to be grateful with living a simpler life, accepting its temporary nature, and come to terms with my mortality sooner.

I mean, I like to think that I'm getting good at this stuff already, now that I'm into my 40s. I have a minimalist attitude to 'owning stuff', and currently work four days a week, which has in a way forced me to keep 'downsizing' my regular costs and lifestyle. I can't remember the last time I bought clothes, let alone new ones. if I needed to, I think I could comfortably fill a suitcase with just the things I need, and walk away from everything else.

Yesterday, a friend of mine was talking about the book Die with Zero, by Bill Perkins, which admittedly I had not heard of, but the premise resonated with me: that we need to make the most of our lives while we're living them, rather than trying to save up riches for our so-called golden years. I feel like I've already embraced this idea, albeit unintentionally, but for the last five years I've started falling into this trap of feeling like I need to 'catch up', in being a real grown-up, so that I don't end up with nothing to live on when I retire.

But I also think back ten years to when I started doing volunteer assignments with Australian Business Volunteers, and there were so many retirees taking the opportunity to continue to get out there in the world, and live their best lives in amazing places around the world, sharing their knowledge with communities and having enriching experiences in the process. They weren't living particularly exotic or fancy lifestyles, but they didn't need much in the way of possessions to continue to have fulfilling experiences.

I hope that these kinds of opportunities are still around thirty years from now.

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