Years ago, I adopted the idea of something called my death bed thoughts. Here’s how it works. If something is bothering me and I’m getting stressed out about it, I ask myself, “Is this something I will be thinking about when I only have hours to live?”
If the answer is “no,” I tend to let the worry evaporate into the ether. If it’s “yes," I know the importance of it.
This had me further thinking about regrets in my life. We all have them. Well, I won’t speak for you, but I know I have some. Many of them I cannot do anything about. That ship sailed long ago. So I choose to let those go, as best I can. But there was one I had when I was hooked up to a dialysis machine for four hours.
Years ago, asked me, “If all of the sudden, you became filthy rich, what would you buy?”
“That’s pretty much it. I don’t need a lot.”
Three decades have gone by since that conversation, and I realize I have only owned three cars in my life. None of them were a convertible.
Therefore, in the spirit of tackling a regret and switching it over to a wish fulfilled, I’ve decided that while I never did get rich, and it may not seem practical, when Samwise and I hit the road for our book tour next spring, and then again for our grand 20,000-mile trip around the country, we'll be riding in a VW Beetle Convertible.
The more I think about this, the more I like it. The idea of seeing the west for the first time since 1969 makes me want to be swallowed whole by it. That means with the top down and Samwise in Doggles with his ears flapping in the wind.
Another goal I have is to get an Airstream trailer, but I cannot afford one yet. That will be the next rare desire for something material to own. That and a pick-up truck to pull it. For now, I’m putting that on hold until it is more realistic. For now, we are going for free and silly and fun.
Yes, we’ll be taking a tent along to pitch in various state parks and national forests during our two months on the road from April 21st through June 21st. We’ll also be spending two or three nights a week in motels or hotels. A little convertible is not the most common sense vehicle to drive, but I don’t care. This is about fulfilling a wish.
Some have already offered advice suggesting something different. But my friends know when I want advice, I seek it out. Otherwise, when my heart's set on something, I go ahead and do it. Heck, that’s how most of the best things that have ever happened to me came about - by ignoring advice from others telling me what I should do. Had I listened to them I wouldn’t have started a newspaper, participated in Ironman triathlons (was it really thirty years ago?), attempted to hike two rounds of New Hampshire’s 4,000-footers in winter with a little dog, and I wouldn’t have moved north to where I’ve spent the happiest years of my life.
Life is temporary. The end can come at any moment. I understand that more than ever in this year of finally feeling my mortality. However, if it does end sooner, rather than later, I can lay on my death bed and say, “I once owned a convertible."
|This is a stock photo from the VW website. I have not picked out a color,|
although that isn't really important to me. And I'm still a few months away
from buying our adventure car. But in my head, it's a done deal.