Regular readers of this trusty frugal retirement blog know that I have been talking about writing a book (more than one actually) for more than two years. I've been wanting to write a book about retirement on a fixed income, and also some DIY books as well. These books have obviously not come to fruition, and the only person responsible for that one is me.
First I told myself I needed more blog posts under my belt to write the book (I've only been blogging since 2009 or so?). Then I told myself I needed to write some more first, getting better at taking pictures before I wrote and E-book with before and after pictures-the excuses kept coming. You get my drift.
What I've finally realized is that I will probably never be "ready". In fact, "ready" can be highly overrated. This is something that I know much of the time (having taking a some steps of various precipices in my life with no further plan), but it's also something I think I, and others need to remember.
Retirement is just one example. Books, articles and advice abounds on when is the right time to retire, and what is the right number. While I'm not advocating irresponsibility, the blogosphere and the Internet abound with people who retired (sometimes not by choice) before they were ready. Most of these people I know to be successful, active retirees who are enjoying life-ready to retire or not.
I am not just talking about money here. There is no perfect time to start a business, write a book, learn kickboxing, do adventure travel or start a relationship. I often think that many of us get so caught up in the planning or worrying process that we forget to take the first step. There will never be a perfect time. We will never be in perfect shape. Many of us will never have our perfect "number" when it comes to finances, and that's okay.
Planning certainly has it's place, don't get me wrong. As does acceptance of certain limitations - within reason. With my injuries, I'm not going to hike a cross country trail. I do want to take a cross country road trip in my car and after much introspection I've realized that rather than making lists and planing routes and obsessively worrying about where I will go when, I just need to pick some dates next year and get into my car . This would not be one of my regular road trips mind you, but a kiss the college student and dog, give my sister bill money for six months and just hit the road until I get tired. As the commercial used to say, sometimes I need to "just do it".
Earlier in the year, I mentioned that I took a class in memoir writing. While this class was mainly not for me, as I have no plan to publish a memoir (but did want to learn more about writing family history), I did learn a couple valuable things from the class. One of those things was simply to write, every single day. Not to wait til my muse visited. Not to wait until I had the perfect topic. Not to wait until the time was right and the proverbial stars were aligned. Write every day, even if it was gibberish. Even if I threw half of it away. Even if I never showed it to someone else. This was great advice and I have tried to follow it daily. Sometimes I think I have nothing to write about, but I do it anyway. Without a topic or title, or even knowing what I will do with it afterwards.
Someone somewhere wrote that "There is no such thing as ready. Only willing, and doing. So in addition to my other goals, my goal for the rest of this year is to be willing. Intentionally willing, but willing none the less.
And on that note, I'm off to a meeting of a new community singing group for 55ers plus. Even though I rarely sing and never in front of anyone else, and knowing that I will be far from the best singer in the group. Willing. I'm Willing.