This past week on the “Crossover Show” Pod cast Justin Shchorr (AKA Happy Medic) made some interesting observations. The topic of the show was time management. The observation that perked my interest was a talk about bucket lists.
Justin talked about how lots of people put off doing fun things till retirement. Saving for decades to eventually do something awesome. Yet when retirement comes often people end up not able to fully enjoy their dream(s).
Face it even with early retirement many of us in public safety have health issues after retirement. Or we can retire but a spouse can not, so we still wait years for both people to work on the bucket list. When that spouse finally retires healthy issues might have popped up.
I know way too many police officers, firefighters and EMS workers who were dead after only a few years after retirement. Not to mention all the folks I know with bad backs, joint problems and mental health conditions that limit their ability to enjoy retirement. Then also add the people forced into retirement because of the medical issues. When you are too hurt to work, you likely are too hurt for specific kinds of fun.
For example guy I know who has a great little hunting cabin out in the county on some wooded land. It was a family farm handed down to him from his grandfather. His plan was after the kids started college to down size, sell his house and live full time at the hunting cabin.
The kids left for college but he did not move to the cabin. He waited for various reasons. Finally he sold the house and moved out to the cabin. The next week on a fire call he fell off a ladder, ending up with multiple broken bones in both legs and ankles. He medically retired and to this day needs a cane to walk.
Many of his plans for this cabin are useless now. The pain he is in daily limits the hunting, trapping and fishing he was hoping to do more often on his land. He can’t even get around the land without being on an ATV.
Likewise I know (well should say knew) a guy who dreamed of a cross country motorcycle ride after retirement. By his retirement day he had the trip all planned out. However he never got to do the trip. He was killed in a crash a few weeks before the big trip was scheduled to start. It was almost a month to the day after retirement he was dead.
I am sure everyone reading this post who works in public safety knows of people who have had similar events happen.
So basically what I am saying here is why wait. If you have the funds to go on a dream trip, do it. If you have the free time to try out a new hobby, do it. If life has presented you the option to do something you wish to do, take the opportunity. Stop waiting for a tomorrow that no one can guarantee will come.