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Life is short. Even though I’m 1/3 through my statistical life, I don’t feel like I’ve been on this earth for very long. There’s so much to do, so many things to see, people to meet and places to visit, yet all I’m doing is working in Excel and formatting quarterly reports.
St. Paddy’s saw me sitting behind a desk, and I was kindly reminded by the nice folks at Facebook of St. Patrick’s Days past. When I was in college, St. Patrick’s Day rang in spring. Luckily, for the most part, we had unseasonably warm days, which lead to many drunken decisions and my university (and fraternity house) being featured on certain websites for their rage game level.
The difference between now and then is quite stark. In college, if I didn’t feel like going to class, I didn’t really matter. Sure, I wouldn’t learn about what happened in East Germany after WWII, how much discretionary dollars our country pisses away or how to identify a male or female skeleton, but in large part, it didn’t really matter. I guess it still doesn’t now, except I like not being homeless.
I also don’t have to pinch pennies as much. Back in my day (when I wasn’t walking uphill both ways to class because I actually had to do this), I subsisted largely on Labatt Blue $.99 tallboys because they were cheap and got you fucked up. I probably kept the lights on at the Labatt Factory and paid the electric bill at Evan Williams. I would do it all again, because you can’t put a price on a good time.
Even now, I am a firm believer in “you can’t put a price on a good time.” I don’t live above my means, but sometimes, there are things that are worthwhile to splurge on. Last summer, I spent out the ass to go to a good friend’s wedding. I’m still paying it off, but being there for my buddy and having his parents tell me and a buddy, Scott, “We are so happy you guys made it because it means so much to Dom” was well worth it. We were one of the few non-family members that attended his wedding.
Sure the wedding was expensive, but the stories, like having to break into the bride’s beach house to get my clothing as I had to catch the early ferry back, seeing dolphins, and being accosted by a middle aged man wearing only slippers and a bathrobe make it worth it. Seeing my friend since childhood marry the woman of his dreams was the cherry on top. Sure, divorce rates are 50/50, but that’s why it’s called gambling and not winning. Win some, lose some.
The thing is, many of us work our entire lives. Keeping it fresh is important to do, so step outside your comfort zones. I am in no way advocating being irresponsible or pissing away money, only looking at things objectively. If you think to yourself, “Will I regret not doing this in ten years?”, it’s probably worth the temporary financial setbacks.
Life is about three things: time, money and energy. When you’re young, you have time and energy but no money. Middle aged, you have money and energy but no time. Old man? Money and time but no energy. Once the Boomers start kicking the bucket and we get decent jobs, you think I’ll regret missing out on some cool stuff when I was younger? I try to live without regrets, but it happens. We all have things we wish we did. Life is about experiences, mitigating missing out but not letting FOMO own you. In the end we all gotta go anyway, so you might as well enjoy the short time we have. .
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