What do you want out of life?

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I had a neighbor stop by yesterday. He isnt a close friend, but we had been fishing together several times. We started out by shooting the breeze for a while over a couple beers. Surprisingly, the conversation turned into a two-hour long discussion that centered around what we have and have not accomplished in our lives, and what we hope to accomplish in our lives. I say surprising because our previous conversations were what could be called just your average everyday kind of stuff. Nothing heavy or personal. He, for his part, was also surprised - primarily at being willing and able to talk about his own unfulfilled goals, and at finding someone willing to just sit quietly and actually listen.

We spoke about the fact that there are some things that he always meant to do, but never got around to. He asked Do you feel this way too? I told him that I felt that way for a long time, but managed to do a couple things that I had always wanted to do, and that since then, I really dont find myself asking the question as much anymore. Rather, I seem to find new things to set my sights on. He smiled as he thought about that, and saw that if he could do the same thing, perhaps he would ask himself this less often as well. He then went on to give me some specific things he had always hoped to accomplish. I was once again surprised because all of them are within his grasp. He just needs to focus and get moving.

He, like myself, is middle-aged and married with children. I found myself wondering if this was a middle-age thing, since I have heard this from some others also, including close friends. Perhaps this is the old biological clock syndrome, where we reach middle-age with not as much to show for living this long as we had hoped for when we were younger.

We also spoke about preparing for Y2K and the various possibilities with regard to its severity. This brought us right back to getting as much out of life as we can. It became increasingly apparent that there is a need to set and accomplish goals, even though we live our lives in uncertainty. Y2K will pass. Perhaps we will too. But while we are here, we need to establish clearly in our own minds what we want out of life and go for it. If we are lucky enough to accomplish something, then it is also important to set that next goal. The clearer that we can visualize achieving our goals, the better chance we have of fulfilling them. My present Y2K goal is to continue increasing my self-reliance. I expect that this may be a life-long goal. There are other non-Y2K related goals that I hope to accomplish, and am working towards them as well. These are the things that I want out of life, for myself and for my children.

So I was once again reminded that even though some of us are preoccupied with Y2K, and some of our goals may revolve around it, there is still more to life. It is so easy sometimes to become Y2K-saturated, at the expense of other things in our lives. I found the reminder helpful. I hope you do too.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), September 07, 1999


Thanks for passing this along.

-- Count Vronsky (vronsky@anna.com), September 08, 1999.

When I was a kid, I had a list of all the places I wanted to visit. A "top ten" if you will. The Swiss Alps, Niagara Falls, Mt. Rushmore, London, Paris, Yosemite National Park, Butchart Gardens in Victoria, etc. Traveling is something I truly love.

I completed the list this past May with a trip to Banff and Lake Louise in Canada. The Canadian Rockies are gorgeous! The last couple of trips have been really special because I realize one of the first things we'll give up in a tight economy is vacationing. I feel really blessed to have been able to go. If things get really tough, we'll have fun looking at the photo albums and reliving the memories. :-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), September 08, 1999.

I started this thread because I see the general noise level of Y2K growing constantly. Voices from all parts of the scale are increasingly getting louder. More and more is being reported in the mainstream press with each passing week. Even getting onto this forum, and past the repeated server busy messages, indicates the Y2K knobs are turning towards the top. It will only get more so as we continue inexorably towards the appointed hour.

Because of this, I feel it is important to seize what non-Y2K moments we can; keeping in mind that we need to try and maintain a sense of balance in our lives and our expectations for what we want out of life, need from ourselves, and need from each other.

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@com.net), September 08, 1999.

Rob, It's just that many of us see that if we don't get past Y2K, your question is moot. Anyway, for me, as for many here, I'm sure, the answer is a spiritual one since this particular scene is only a passing one, all so obviously.

-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), September 08, 1999.

As I've often said, the essence of intelligence and the key to much of life is to recognize when what you are doing isn't working out the way you want it to, and to *stop doing it*! Do something else, instead. Repeat as needed.

If we all did this we would eventually learn how to live better.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), September 08, 1999.

At the risk of waylaying another thread, I'm weighing in here.


Your thought dovetailed in my mind with one of Flint's assertions that people's dark visions of the future are fueled by dissatisfaction with their present.

I'd like to share a simple story. When I became a parent, in a way it was like becoming afraid of the dark all over again. Hopes, dreams, and a silly will to control all variables became mixed with a tremendous sense of vulnerablility.

I think many may share similar emotions here. Several are still lucky enough to have aging parents around. I like my life, and the future I had envisioned when I predicted it's outcome from looking at the past. Sometimes I fear I have been looking in the wrong direction, or not far enough into the past.

Hallyx just struck a chord on the 'chaos' thread by writing something to the effect of "I wonder how long the impending dim ages will last".


I know I didn't answer your post, I've been cogitating on it awhile. I feel incredibly blessed, and have no regrets. A very dear lady that I had hoped to spend a great deal more time with, once my chief cook & bottle-washer duties lighten up, has just been struck down by one of those terrifyingly aggressive cancers at a young age. I've been thrown for another loop. There's been alot of loops for me in the past year. Call me a doomer, but I don't see them letting up anytime soon. Your mileage may vary.

-- flora (***@__._), September 08, 1999.


I have put "life" on hold until/if this 010100 thing blows over. I have a lot of goals I still would like to attain, but I think prepping for the unknown is a little more important in the short term. I have a family to take care of... they are my focal point at this time, and my personal goals are secondary. Also, depending on what happens next year, my personal goals may change as life itself has a possiblity of changing.

Gayla, one of my goals is to see Banff, BC and Lake Louise... I hope it happens... looks like an absolutely gorgeous place!

sniffin' at the door...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), September 08, 1999.

Desert Dog, you would really like it! There are LOTS of trees! :-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), September 08, 1999.

My kind of place...: )

huntin' for a spot...

The Dog

-- Dog (Desert Dog@-sand.com), September 08, 1999.

Rob, I almost missed this thread (didn't quite meet the 15 rule), and I'm very glad I caught it.

I, too, have been thinking about goals. I wrote myself some questions while I was at work last week to keep myself on track :

What are my priorities? Where am I spending my time and money?

Do I want to go where I am headed? How should I change direction and in what areas?

Do I love my life? How would it be different if I loved it more? (This is life as in lifestyle, but also as in the meaning and significance of my life).


Obviously, survival has high priority. However, these are questions I want to remember even if Y2K is a 10. Life is about more than subsistence; that's why there are cave paintings and why music is found in 'primitive' societies. And I firmly believe that life here is preparation for continuing life, what I do here matters here and forever. Nor is it always obvious what's important here. I've had patients thank me profusely and very sincerely for actions that I really had given no thought to at all, and I wonder how many times I've done harm just as thoughtlessly.

I remember being told that a study of octogenarians revealed that most regretted what they had left untried and that they had not put more time into contemplation. So the challenge for me is to be more contemplative and more daring - to think about how to improve and then to act on my thoughts.

Enough rambling - thanks for yet another thread to make me think, Rob.

-- T the C (tricia_canuck@hotmail.com), September 09, 1999.

Went to Glacier NP, Banff, LL, and then to Jasper. What a trip. Listed a lot of new birds in '96.

When I think of how we can enjoy life in 2000 if things go south, I think of the birds that will still come up in the Spring. The Dogwoods will still bloom. There will still be puffy clouds in the sky. (Gee, I hope they'll be regular clouds. g)

What I'm looking forward to is a new wineskin. A new community. A renewed way of relating and depending on people again. We're too alone, alienated from others.

Today, I ate a wonderful cantaloupe out of our garden and wondered if I'll be able to do it next summer, and if so, who I'll share it with. I ate a storebought plum and thought I'll miss them if things get bad.

I don't know about goals. Life right now is filled with them. Maybe y2k will teach us to live for the moment again. To become little children and enjoy the day....for sufficient is the evil thereof.

-- BB (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), September 09, 1999.

People will surprise you, Rob. That's why Judgment is not a wise thing to do too often. I hold so many people locked in so many little structures in my mind, and they continually surprise me. Too much thinking! Now -- time to get to bed and see if wife's moods may upend me once more. ? Nahhhhh... (?) (?) (?) The marital crazy olympics now in progress -- and the Gold medal to: (?)

Thanks, Rob -- stopping in for my daily dose of wisdom paid off tonight. It's like honey for a sore throat, aloe for a sunburn, fresh cool water for thirst, etc.

I wonder if they wear their tinfoil hats in the Beyond the Beyond? I'll have to see Albert Brooks' "Defending Your Life" again. Wife doesn't like those "afterlife" movies, so I watch 'em (without comment) just to bug her. Not really.

But the metaphysics says we're passing through here from a timeless place, in order to grow, to test our will and love and whatever qualities against the thick slog of material life, and the competing passions of others. No place like it in the universe, so they say! We'll find out, eh? Glad 1/1/00 comes first: curiosity!

y2k: Final exam time, or maybe just the SATs.

I'm glad to be in such good company with you all. You really keep up a high-quality presence, it's just amazing!

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.uni), September 09, 1999.

Rob, please forgive me for going OT on your thread for just a minute...

BB, please give me some helpful hints about growing cantaloupe! I planted 20 (think I overdid it!) and they are growing all over the place. They are just starting to flower. Help! :-)

-- Gayla (privacy@please.com), September 09, 1999.

Gayla, Email me or let's go over to the prep forum. BB

-- BB (peace2u@bellatlantic.net), September 09, 1999.

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