Welcome to the Rest of Your Life! …. Staying curious and fascinated with life

This Rambling is filled with questions and not personal commentary. This is the culmination of many of my previous Ramblings and is one of my more personally meaningful Ramblings. I hope you find the questions help create a “Welcome to the Rest of Your Life Road Map” for you (and partner, remember when doing with a partner, this is an US! not a ME!) as it has for me and you find the questions as thought provoking as I have!

I have a friend and good client who religiously reads and comments on many of my posts. Jim (his real name) always adds an appreciated, interesting perspective and color to what has been written. The most recent post on Scuba and Trust is no exception. Jim’s comment regarding my going outside my comfort zone and the great feeling of stretching was:

“Welcome to the rest of your life Bob.”

I found Jim’s feedback so timely as I had already started this Rambling (a follow-up to the scuba Rambling), “Staying Curious and Fascinated with Life.”

What does this topic really mean and how am I looking at it? This question has caused me to pause and actually think about this in more depth. My response to this question is that I wish there was someone that I could do this reflection with and think about the rest of OUR life as it’s not just about me. I’ve been accustomed to being the solo author and architect of my life but I’m am moving to an attitude of flexibility for when the day comes that there is an “us.” However, for now, it is me and outward focus on others.

A while back, I had a real life personal experience that helped frame why I’m more intentionally practicing “welcome to the rest of your life”:

I go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester every 18-24 months for a full body (I do mean full body), two-day physical (nothing is left to the imagination). When asked by my personal Mayo physician why I am coming to MAYO EXECUTIVE PHYSICAL DEPT, I responded that my goal is to stack as many chips on my side of the table as I can that will provide me the best chance to live a fully engaged, vibrant, and meaningful life—to age 100.

My hope and dream is that I will be on this planet for another 36+ years. Yikes, 36 years, that seems long, however I am learning that time goes by so quickly; that time will pass in a blink and I do not want to do it alone or be left with a lot of “I SHOULD HAVES!”

I am embracing with open arms the richness of the Rest of My Life by staying curious and fascinated with the world and those people around me!

What does that entail? I am not fully sure myself. However, I am asking the following questions of myself knowing that the answers may change based on whether someday I have someone in my life. Perhaps you’d like to do the same with your life partner? it could be rewarding and I am sure will enhance the intimacy and meaningfulness of your relationship.

  1. Am I a Conscious Incompetent in who I am? (Do I know what I am not good at and need others help to improve? If not, is it time to figure it out?)
  2. Based on what you (we) discover in #1, do I (we) care?
  3. How do I (we) become a Conscious Competent? (How do I (we) become intentional in personal growth, maturity, and relationship growth? Do we understand that disagreement and agreement is healthy and adds intimacy to a relationship?)
  4. What should I be doing to be selfless? (It is not all about Bob or US!)
  5. What actions and behavior are significant to actively being committed to my (our) family?
  6. How should I (we) grow in outward giving?
  7. How do I (we) grow in spiritual relationship with God?
  8. What actions and behavior should I (we) embrace to enhance our relationships and significance with friends and those around us?
  9. How do I (we) further master and honor the value of what others have to offer?
  10. How do I (we) define and continue to grow together?
  11. What experiences should I (we) take to see and feel the wonders of the world?
  12. If doing alone, can I remain flexible enough adjust this road map when I do with that life partner?

Perhaps there are additional questions I should consider? I do not have a corner on great growth questions. I would be interested to hearing from my followers. 

Would it not be meaningful to be able to reach that final chapter in our lives and be able to feel that we did our best with the gifts that God has blessed us with, that we’ve grown in our personal and spiritual relationships? That life has been a mutual endeavor with a partner? That we’ve touched others’ lives in a meaningful way? Could all of this intentionality further define a significantly deep relationship with your life partner through meaningful conversation and heartfelt, courageous, and vulnerable sharing and growth?

Welcome to the rest of your life!

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3 thoughts on “Welcome to the Rest of Your Life! …. Staying curious and fascinated with life

  1. Bob–far too much introspection in this Rambling for me to think of. (laugh)

    Item #1. I’m a “Conscious Incompetent” as you describe it (I dislike the use of “incompetent”). I DO know what I’m not good at–and I either avoid the issue or seek the help of others. This is important: Socrates counseled “To Know Thyself is the beginning of wisdom”. If you “know yourself”–everything else starts to fall into place.

    All of the rest of the questions you pose have to do with interpersonal relationships. You can’t answer those questions about dealing with others until you know who YOU are–thus the wisdom of “knowing yourself.”

    That doesn’t mean that others have to conform to YOU–you may “know yourself” for good or bad–and by “knowing yourself”, work to effect change in your life– recognizing and resolving your faults. Only by knowing your starting point–good and bad qualities–can you work on how you relate to others. Working with others requires an honest evaluation of yourself.

    This is a segue to another great quote: Shakespeare’s “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night to day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” You must be true to yourself–to your known good qualities, and must state them correctly–you can’t develop a relationship by telling someone how you MEAN to change.

    “Know yourself”–“be true to yourself”–be introspective and questioning–and everything else will fall into place without a lot of inner soul-searching. It’s a big change from today. Perhaps one more maxim is applicable–an Oscar Wilde quote I recall from the turbulent 1960s–“Know thyself was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, “be thyself” shall be written.” (smile)

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  2. Bob’s point #11–“What experiences should I (we) take to see and feel the wonders of the world?”

    To see and feels the wonders of the world, you must be open to experiencing them. Far too many people say “I could never do that!” You have started that experience by being open to new and challenging experiences–the SCUBA column, for instance.

    “Feeling the wonders of the world?” You have to take some overt action to make that happen. (Hint:–it won’t be found at Disneyland, Las Vegas, or a tourist resort!). Engage in Adventure Travel–and better yet, do it with a group of like-minded friends.

    Years ago, I fell in with a group of glider pilots. Flying gliders had nothing to do with the affinity group–but each of us DID engage in adventure travel. We would pick a spot to travel to a place where history changed–to England, for example. We would avoid the usual tourist places, and make it a point to visit the RAF antique airfields of the Battle of Britain (and the associated museums)–or Bletchely Park, where Arthur Turing broke the German Enigma Code, and invented the computer as part of it–or Stonehenge. Some of us were avid historians–others engaged only on the periphery. We enjoyed travel with others to get their perspective (“did you notice…………..?). That applies not only to the place in question, but to everyday life in a foreign country. We made it a point to go inexpensively–our name for ourselves is “The Bottomfeeders”–traveling during the off-cost “shoulder season” for airfares, traveling by train in Europe–staying away from the fancy hotels–taking the recommendations of Ric Steves. We’ve visited Normandy, the Somme, Germany, Greece, and Italy–as well as domestic trips. Try “narrow boating” live-aboard boats for 8 through the narrow canals of Europe–or bicycling from place to place (many countries have bike trails to avoid traffic, and they send your luggage to your destination by truck) An important element of all of our trips is that they have a pre-arranged theme–even if it must be changed on the fly. If you want to see the world and its wonders, I can highly recommend it!

    What is “Adventure Travel”? My own definition is “If the outcome is assured–you are NOT having an adventure!” Rephrased, that might be “Adventure without Adversity–is Disneyland!” Think about it–some of the most memorable times were minor adversities–“remember the time we got caught in an Italian rail strike, and had to rent cars?” or “remember being in a French restaurant where we knew very little French, and nobody there knew English? We tried many dishes–escargot, rabbit, and some I still do not know–but all were delicious–and they waiter kept insisting we try so many different wines!”

    I’ve visited 84 countries around the world–and find myself going back to favorites. Each country has its own charms (and occasional “adventure travel”!)

    As the advertisement says “GET OUT THERE!”

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    • Jim, you once again succeeded to expand on my thoughts, added perspective based on experience to how life can be lived with no regrets. Thank you… I believe you concurred with many of my thoughts and the direction the questions can take and individual and/or couple.

      Bob

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