Monday, May 26, 2008

Now This is What I Call a Retirement

It had been awhile since I'd checked in on Sci-Fi author Will Shetterly's blog.
Recently he posted something about his dad, who seems to have an enviable attitude towards aging and his golden years:

Dad left La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, on May 15, 1998, sailed once around the world in a small sailboat, the Vaya, then decided to do it again "now that I know how." He returned to La Paz on his 78th birday, July 9, 2004, then sailed on. His circumnavigations ended at the age of 79; he hurt his leg in the Philippines, gave the boat to the people who helped him there, and flew home to Edmonton in July, 2006, shortly after his 80th birthday.

Before he began his voyages, he wrote his children:

To die in a storm with the adrenalin pumping, fighting for survival, seems far better than anything civilized hospital care has to offer—even a collision at sea would be preferable. If I go unreported, I hope no one starts or creates any search. Ships that run down small boats do not report the fact, even if they are aware of what happened. On the other hand, a coastal wreck is usually reported, unless everything is smashed to bits in surf and rocks. In either event, I see no need to waste anyone's time and effort.To sum up: I am grateful to the Gods and the people who have provided and supported an interesting life. I have many regrets—more for things not done, than for those done badly.

I recognize that this letter is only about my concern, but I am aware of the concern of others. Having made the selfish decision to live out my declining years on my own terms (as much as possible), this letter is simply to try to answer "Why?" and to make it clear the "why" has almost nothing to do with others.

What an awesome old man! I highly recommend clicking the title link, and reading all about this cantankerous old coots adventures.

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