A friend just asked, “Is there an end-game and what else have we learned?”
YIKES! I must admit that we have been so immersed in this experiment for so long and still feel that we are not so very far into it that contemplating an end-game has not really crossed our minds. So, good question…..
‘End Game’ to me means still being alive but not living here. If I die here, then there was no difference to the game and the end just came. Ergo, no official end-game. But, if I move and die elsewhere, then that move would be the so-called end-game. And do I have a plan for one?
Short answer: NO. This will likely do, thank you. We are good here. OTG will see me out, as the Brits say. When that happens, Sal plans to go cruising but even she will return to here. We may go on holiday and kick the bucket dying in a hail of cartel gunfire on a Mexican beach or get run over by a tuktuk driven by a mad monk in Thailand. But those are not end games, those are accidents.
Almost 90% of people live out their lives at home (except for a miserable and usually short interim time in hospital). Only 10 or so percent go to ‘rest homes’. We fully intend to be amongst the majority of homebodies and going out in a hail of gunfire is much more likely than a retirement home for us. Preferable, too.
As for lessons learned…other than the ones we have already shared…..? Another good question. The simplest answer is that we have learned that we have options. Urban life is NOT the only way. Neither is OTG the only other way. There are dozens of ways to live the last 25 years of your life and, tho OTG is our current focus, neither of us would rule out a dip in another pool. I think we are good here but that doesn’t exclude trips at the very least. We can and will likely still travel some.
But the question was deeper than that, I think. Is there anything profound? Spiritual, maybe?
I don’t think so. Many, many little profound, even spiritual lessons have been learned to be sure but none of them particularly earth-shattering. A much, much greater appreciation for nature, having personal time, enjoying the quiet, living in great partnership, these have all been experienced; greater satisfaction working on things tangible, the lunacy of much of what passes for modern life. The absence of so much ugly. But all those are things you have heard before and likely feel yourself. They are as much the result of aging as they are the result of living OTG. I think living OTG enhances and magnifies those feelings but they are not new or surprising lessons. Thoreau wrote about them.
If there is anything new – completely new – that we seem to have learned, it would be about ourselves. We are much happier with where we are and what we do. But some of that might also be that we are happier with who we are. A little personal growth through creativity and self reliance goes a long, long way.