Live Forever

I have said for years, mostly in jest, that my plan is to live to be four hundred. That way I can live to see the fruition of so many of the dreams that I grew up reading about. I remember especially wanting to see humanity colonize the asteroid belt (I can’t tell you why.)

Now I admit that the chances that I, or any of the boomers, will live for four hundred years are slim to none. But thinking about it does open up a bunch of interesting ideas for inspection.

How would we handle the population explosion that would almost certainly result if old folk didn’t get out of the way of the young? How about work? Right now it seems there is going to be a problem of not having enough workers available as millions of baby boomers pull out of the work force, but in a time where people worked for hundreds of years, making space for new workers could be a real problem. There are a host of other issues, real and imagined that would come to bear, but there is one that always interested me above the others.

What would a person do to stay interested if they lived that long? There are not that many people who hold a life long passion for something even now. Most people have a variety of different interests in life and they move through them one after another as they accomplish as much as they care to.

We all know how maintaining one job for a long period of time can take all the fun out of working for a living. So what, exactly, would a person do to keep from being bored after the first hundred years or so? Would we learn to keep learning? To go back to school every 50 years to learn to ply another trade? Would we encompass our animal natures and become mountain climbing fiends or inveterate hikers?

Perhaps we would have to learn how to enjoy the little things in life, but really, isn’t that a huge struggle already?

If you lived to be four hundred you would have to think about these things, a lot. The truth is, that you should be thinking about these things anyway. Because three-hundred and fifty years is a long time, but so can thirty be.

What are you going to do for fun when you retire? So many people don’t consider what they will do when they don’t have a job to center their time around, or to anchor their social life, or to “get away from”.

Think about the people you know who have managed to put together their dream retirement of travelling the country or the world. Now, that is a big thing. Exploring the nooks and crannies of a country the size of the US is something that could easily span a lifetime. And yet, how many of those people wear out that dream in 5 years. Travelling that much can wear on a person. It’s really not at all the same as getting away for two weeks a bunch of times. Soon it can seem like a job in and of itself.

Or perhaps there is a hobby you are passionate about. The thing with hobbies though, is that they often don’t have near the allure when they become jobs. A few hours stolen here or there or a Saturday devoted to that hobby might be pure pleasure, but all day every day? Perhaps not so much.

That is one of the reasons that people work part time in retirement. Sure the money is nice, but the variety, the structure and the social interaction can be even more important.

Though you might not have any interst in living for hundreds of years, you really need to make thinking about who you are and how you operate. About whether your dream retirement will be all that it’s supposed to be.

Maybe it’s time for a new dream, a bigger one. A longer one.

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