As I pondered on my mission statement, someone asked me what I think is missing in my life? This can be answered in many ways. It is hard to answer – I wish it is simple as a concrete ordered list of items. Deep down, I don’t really know the answer.
There are people who are perfectly content of where they are in life. While life might not be perfect, they are happy of what they have or where they are.
Not me though. I am not sure if I can ever find myself at peace with the way things are. Sometimes though I do get too tired and lazy and start accepting the status quo, but that is not who I am. I have been contending with myself and my environment since day 1. Things can’t stay the way they are. I measure myself by changes each year and positive changes over a period of time, which I called growth. My struggle and inner drive is probably the proof that I am alive.
I wrote up a blog on this to answer this question, yet it remained unpublished (maybe some day I will). I wanted a rewrite, because while running an amazing thought came to me of how I will write this, unfortunately I forgot. Let this be a take two if you will. I don’t want to be too negative as one who is ungrateful of what the Creator has allotted to me.
I know I am already part of the one percent by living in a developed nation, and not just any nation, but the world only superpower. In many metrics, we outshine the second place by huge margin (it is not a perfect nation, but we have done well in many ways, especially in term of wealth). On top of that I am much much well off than many in the nation already. I might not the one percentile in term of wealth (many of my peers are, or near there), but I live a much comfortable life, not having worry when my next meal will be or where I will sleep. All bills are paid on time and best of all, there is a lot of money left over for me to ‘spurt’ on vanity spending for example, on races and running shoes — stuffs I don’t need to survive.
That said, I am not unhappy. There are something missing still. There are things I can have control over and there are things I have less to no control over. Obviously, we all fighting with the limited amount of time and money. I can only do so much in this amount of time. There is also talent. Say, even if I have eternity, I will not be a great musician, that is something I must accept.
I wish to do better in life. 1. What this mean I strive to make more money still. Much much more. Humongous amount. I talk as much about money as I do with running. Stocks and investments and 401K are my lingo.
2. A better job.
3. A wife. I found love once. I used to believe it doesn’t exist. Then encountered it, but it was like a mirage. I am a changed man though. A lot can be said about it. I think it is most ironic facet of life. There is a blog I follow, I think it called something the brokenspecs, which captured this irony. It is not simple. I can’t wrap my mind around it.
4. A house. I don’t really need one, but seeing other people buying, kinda make me go hmmm, why can’t I buy one too. Of course I can’t afford one yet with my salary.
5. Adventures. Life would be dull if it is just work and paying off debts and on the weekend either endless chores and too tired to do anything else. Having a focus or cause to pursuit is what make life real and worth living. I don’t get it exactly what I want or need to be satisfied. Over the years I came up with two lists: The first one is my bucket list items [BL], and the second list is what I find delightful [JY].
6. Religion. I am a religious guy in a way. I know I was taught that there is a god-shaped hole inside each of us, that can’t be filled but God himself. Whether this is true or not is religion. I wish it is true. The argument goes, if you have God then you don’t need anything. I am a simple guy, I can’t think too hard on these kind of things. I don’t think it is true. But by that argument, there are very few people who attain this, because most of us have ‘other’ goals in life than ‘seeking’ God. Any way, I think about this stuff a lot, and I probably not the first one in history to do so.
I prefer focusing on item 5. I can say a lot on it. I like to travel. So I need more money for this. Hope to go around the World one day! I already did in an airplane, but you know that is not what I mean. I want to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest. Visit Nepal to do trekking. Climb Kilimanjero and touch its snow. Go to Galapagos islands. When I went to Chile, I didn’t get to go to the southern most point (they called it the end of the world), so I would like to go back there. Travel on the silk road. Plus many more places.
Adventures – Trek. Hike the PCT, CDT, AT. Cross the USA continent, experience the Oregon Trail.
Running. There is no end to this. Run marathons in all 50 states. Do some ultras and triathlon. Escape from Alcatraz seems interesting.
Backpacking. Many adventures. Vermont. presidential traverse. Adirondacks: the great range traverse. White Mnt. camp in Alaska.
Other sports. I wish to able to Kayak more. Bike more. Learn how to ski. I hear skiing is a lot of fun. Swim.
Ya, we have only limited amount of time on hand. For me, I wish to do all these things within the next 10 years of life when my strength is still near my peak.
That is what I am struggling each weekend.