“…We could walk through my list of accomplishments, and yes, I am proud of where I’ve been and where I am now, but that sense of purpose is largely lost. I check off a list that feeds a lifestyle that keeps risk just out of reach…I feel safe, and it is killing me…” - Rebecca Thorman
Safe. Comfortable. Content. Settled. Somewhere along the way, each of these became dirty words. Maybe I’m partially responsible, as in my writing here, I talk a lot about taking leaps, throwing caution to the wind, and living without restrictions.
I’m 26. And as a married homeowner with his own business, I’m more accomplished now that I ever would have imagined before 30, heck, even 40 or 50.
Maybe it’s a part of growing up. Maybe I can attribute it to having done a lot in my first 26 years of life. But now, more than ever, even after everything that I’ve crossed off my never-ending bucket list, I find myself wondering, “What’s next?”
Do I focus on continuing to build an empire with my business? Can I tell my wife to quit her job tomorrow so we can sell our stuff and travel the country in an RV? Am I terrified of having kids because it means a dramatic shift in lifestyle, or am I mostly just afraid of settling in? Should I just frickin’ relax? Stop DOING so much and just breathe a bit?
I don’t have an answer, to, well, any of these questions. Even through these great accomplishments I’ve had, I find myself wondering “what’s the point?” – Like Rebecca, Am I just checking items off a never-ending bucket list?
I guess I’m wondering, is this life? Is there something more? Or am I simply guilty of over-analyzing and over-complicating things? (Probably the latter)
The answer I’ve come up with, and what I’m reminding myself of daily of, is that “settling” isn’t a dirty word. Rather than being insecure in my comfort, I’m going to relish in it, and so should you.
A recent article on The Guardian listed the, “Top five regrets of the dying”. They are:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Notice that none of them have to do with making more money or achieving fame. They’re not focused on milestones – they’re focused on moments. The little things that happen today and that will happen tomorrow.
Comfort and security is something that is earned. It’s something you work hard to achieve. It’s an attitude. Once you have it, don’t take it for granted, and be proud of what you’ve done to achieve it.
The line we collectively toe is one between being content and being ambitious risk-takers. Risks can be rewarding, without question. But what can be and is equally rewarding is knowing that you’ve created a life for yourself that, dare I say, is comfortable.