Who decides when it’s the right time for anything? I’ve heard people say that they are waiting for the right time to have children, or to retire and hit the road as fulltime RVers, or to hang up the keys and get off the road. But when is the right time? I think it’s different for every person and every situation.
During my first marriage, someone suggested that we shouldn’t have children until we were established in our careers and had purchased a home. We knew people who had good careers and had nice homes, but they were waiting until they paid off a car or crossed something off their bucket list, or whatever. I think if you wait for the right time to have kids, or anything else, you may never get around to it.
Terry and I hit the road as fulltime RVers in our mid-40s, and while there are a lot of younger fulltimers these days, even families raising children as they travel, that was almost unheard of back then. Most of the people we knew on the road were retirees in those days, and more than once we heard gossip about people saying our parents must have bought us an RV to get rid of us or something like that. No, we worked hard to get where we were in life and we weren’t retired. We were working on the road, publishing a successful RV travel newspaper.
We never knew when we were going to hang up the keys, but we both agreed that when it stopped being fun, that would be the time to do it. One day, after 18+ years of fulltiming I looked at Terry and asked, “Are you still having fun?” she said no, and I told her neither was I. That was when it was time to take a different path in our lives.
The other day I was talking to a gentleman who was telling me that his 84-year-old father-in-law, who lives up north somewhere, recently came out of retirement to take a job at Walmart. His two daughters and son, who all live out of state, didn’t want him doing that and told him it was time to just enjoy his golden years. His reply was that his wife passed away three years ago, he had outlived all of his friends, he didn’t have any hobbies, and he was bored to death sitting at home alone talking to the television. Sure, maybe he could have gotten involved in a Senior Center somewhere or found something else to do with his time, but he enjoys working meeting people, and if it makes him happy, who says it’s time for him to spend the rest of his days in his recliner?
My father loved his work, and I don’t think he ever wanted to stop. But one day they told him, “Frank, you’re too old. It’s time to quit.” The only words he heard were “too old,” and he decided he was an old man and he was done. In a short time, he was gone. Whoever decided it was time for him to make a change in his life did not do him a favor.
So when is it the right time to do something? I guess that depends on you and your comfort level. But I saw a lot of young men that didn’t live past their 21st birthdays who never had time to do the things they wanted to do with their lives. 18 months after we hit the road, my wife was stricken with stage four cervical cancer and given six weeks to live. Fortunately, she beat the odds and she is still here and cancer-free, but time almost ran out for her way too soon. We all have an expiration date and none of us knows when it is. I think the right time to do something is when you want to do it before it’s too late. And I also think the right time to stop doing something is when you want to stop it, not when it’s too soon.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. This one must be making the rounds because four different readers have sent it to me in the last couple of days.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Pirate Trials: Dastardly Deeds & Last Words, the first book in my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials series. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing, please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – May the bridges I burn light the way to where I am going.