During my morning “commute” time I was thinking how BAM, the decades seem to have disappeared.
To be more precise, it almost seems like I jumped from 35 years-old to 50 years-old in a matter of a few years, at most.
I feel my wife and I lose track of seasons (and years?) because of a few reasons. 1) We do not have kids, nor are around family children all that much. Therefore, we do not have the basis of school calendars/years and seeing the kids grow. 2) We live in Arizona and you cannot tell what month, or even season it is when looking out the window. It’s just non-stop sunny—beautiful days over and over. I should mention that it is possible to tell the season if I put my hand on the window glass. The glass will either be cool, warm, or HOT. That’s the clue for the season/temperature outside.
35 then 50!
The jump from 35-50 included work employment changes, positions, office locations, salary ranges, etc, to now being retired for 6+ years. Looking back, it happened in a flash. Almost like I haven’t changed at all myself.
I can say that I can tell my age when exercising. There is no denying that my run/bike times at 50 years-old are not close to my times from 35 or 40 years old. It’s also quite clear that after exercising it is best to let my body recover a little more. I still get at it, but I just cannot get into 5th gear anymore.
The above are not complaints, not at all, they are just realizations—like the wrinkles on my face—that decades have passed and passed quickly. I have lots of great memories of adventures and activities. I have frequently said, “I have done all the major things I thought I’d want to do, I’m good.” I still have experiences, activities, and goals ahead of me, but I didn’t waste my previous years putting things off. I have had an amazing life. At least that’s the perspective I choose to take. I don’t think it’s a glass “half-full,” but rather a tall glass of the best drink you could imagine.
So how should we tackle the amazing sesquidecade jumps?
I was thinking about other jumps that happen quickly:
20 then 35:
Life felt like the normalized American path from 20-25-35. I had successfully transitioned from being a newly married, college graduate starting a new job/career in a new state at 25 years-old. We traveled for fun, I traveled around the world for work. It seemed normal, and so many (very) new adventures and activities.
I didn’t mind grinding through college classes, working 3 jobs, living in the cold climate, and striving for a good future. Then in a flash, school is over, multiple degrees on the shelf, married, moved to a new state, and a decade completed in a new career, not to mention world travel completed. So much life, but at warp speed.
50 then 65:
I know a lot of older people and talk with them multiple times throughout the month. So many of them say the years just flew by. The years almost disappeared before they knew it.
I am working really hard to make sure this disappearance doesn’t happen (but it still does) by making sure each day, and each week I do things I love.
I truely believe if we don’t do these activities now, we may not be able to do them in the future, i.e. ever again.
65 then 80:
These are the classic GoGo retirement years we read about all the time. The time where many people no longer working 9 to 5 to 65. A time when, if your health is good, you have ALL your time to yourself. The time to do whatever you please. The time when the road ahead opens up and you can step on the accelerator. Hit the gas and go. If we live these years correctly, these years will not disappear, they will be fully utilized.
I don’t know if these years jump by in a flash, or if they get cloudy, or disappear based on memory or cognitive issues. I know many people 80+ who are sharp and active and still do what they
Just me sharing my random thoughts of a Life In FIRE.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.