Live Like There's No Tomorrow
(A short diversion from music)
by B. K. Hart
Greetings, and salutations to everyone and anyone who is or ever has been a BK Express or Hart Foundation reader. Yeah, I know, I've been derelict in my duties, and you guys probably got a little disturbed at me, and for that I am truly sorry. But I am hoping that after you read this literary offering, you will understand why I have been absent for so long.
You see, in addition to writing, I also hold a full-time job, I operate a small multimedia company, I am a videographer, a musician, and I have a budding career as an Internet radio broadcaster. As the saying goes, I do not let grass grow under my feet. I am always trying to learn new things, despite the fact that I am 48 years old.
Let me ask you something...at what age does life really begin? At 18? At 21? At 30? 40? Uh, fifty? I seem to get many answers to that question when I ask it. Who's right? Does anyone really know for sure?
Let's work it out a little. For those who believe that life begins at the time you turn 18, I have two words--puh-LEEZ! You're not too long out of high school (which, in my opinion, still represents baby steps), and at this point you're still trying to figure out what's next. Do I want to go to college? What about a trade school? Do I want to enter military service, or passively object? You're at the reputed "age of consent", but what would you be consenting to? Sex? HA! If you're anything like me, you're picking yourself off the floor at this moment. At this age, sex is a quantitative concept. The only thing you're concerned about is how much you can get at one time, given the fact that now you're "allowed" to do it (not that you haven't already...hmmmm). Geez, now you're like a kid in a candy store. Kinda eerie how that analogy fits, huh?
Is that life? Hell, no, that's not life, that's anarchy. Well, why do you say that, B. K.? Well friend, I'll tell you. At 18, you're still pretty much the same way you were prior to becoming 18; rules mean nothing, order means nothing, figures of authority mean nothing, and most unfortunately, discipline means nothing. No thanks to those well-meaning but empty-headed legislators and lawmakers who came to the momentous conclusion that spanking your kid could land you in jail, and as a result of that short-sighted mishap, your kids now have control over you. So if and when you decide to smack the taste out of Billy's mouth for bagging school, or if and when you are about to warm up little Mary's butt for that hissy-fit she's throwing, be prepared to spend some time in the hoosegow for it.
OK, how about age 21? Surely you start living then, right? I mean, you can go to bars, enjoy a seemingly full nightlife, party as much as you want (or as much as your money permits, but that's a story for another time). Of course you have to be able to afford it, which means you have to be working, a monumental task given the current state of economics. In the event that you overcome the age-old stigma of job-seeking, the vicious circle (you know, no experience, no job--no job, no experience), you then become what you tried so feverishly to avoid in your youth; an adult.
So you roll the dice to see what happens. Ah, the wealth of possibilities when you are young like that. A shining career, lots of friends, a little money in the bank, nice car, maybe a mini-van, a spouse, a baby, an apartment with battling neighbors--hey, wait a minute! Something went wrong here, what happened? Yup, a serious gamble at 21. Is that life? Hell, no, that's not life, that's chaos! Well, why do you say that, B. K.? Well, friend, I'll tell you. The opposite of chaos is order, and at 21, you haven't been around long enough to fully understand what order is all about, so you scatter your cards to the winds, looking for the best route to take amongst the rubble. Funny thing about 21. The only time 21 does any good in gambling is in Blackjack. And even then, the cards must be in order.
Hope you're keeping score thus far. We were just 21, and you're still not living.
Move along to 30, and by now, a sense of order has begun to manifest itself in you. You’ve been working for several years, ideally on the same job doing the same work. You have a nice home, a nice car, two or three beautiful children, and a loving spouse. Good thing you have that good job to maintain it all.
But alas! what you're doing now is mainly for the support of your household; the mortgage, the groceries, the car note, school stuff, you know the drill. So, has life started yet? Hell, no, it hasn't started yet, at least not for you. And the sad part of that is that you're basically in for about ten or fifteen more years of it, you poor, wretched fool! Ah, the bliss of being a parent!
Move ahead to about 45, when the last of your rotten children is about to leave the house, and you begin to make plans for those empty rooms you're about to inherit. Oh, but don't breathe that sigh of relief just yet. You still have another tuition to shell out for, remember? Yup, about four more years of it. And now, you're an old pro at it. A broke old pro, but a pro nonetheless.
Is that living? Hell, no, that's not living, that's robbery! Well, why do you say that, B. K.? Well, friend, I'll tell you. Since you used the bulk of your "wealth" to foot the bill for food, shelter, and education for two or three rotten kids for twenty-some odd years, you are at the point when you're wondering where the hell your 401K money went, doing a back flip because you did manage to pay the house off, and swearing a blood oath that if any of your kids showed up at your door looking for money, you would meet them at the door with a bat, a copy of the want ads, and bus fare.
So we arrive at 50, or somewhere thereabouts, and we look back and wonder where the time went. Time to take a deep breath, sink back into the Lazy Boy, and start resting and relaxing, right?
I DON'T THINK SO!!
It is now time to live. Like when the kids call home and you're not there, or when they make plans to "visit for a while", and you tell them you'll be out of town, or that you've rented out the house and bought a condo.
What I'm saying is, this is not the time to be a couch potato, people. Make some plans, go on some day trips, join a local fitness club, buy a couple of bikes and do a little touring. In other words, get up off your posterior portions and shake a leg! Do stuff! Do yourself a favor and live like there's no tomorrow!
Well, why do you say that, B. K.? Well, friend, I'll tell you.
Because, one fine day...
Love and peace!
Happy New Year To All From Me and Forest Pro!!
(Our BK doesn't just walk the walk, he talks the talk too..
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