Gee, what a difference 9 years make. Nine years ago yesterday, I retired from the an Arizona Natural Resource Conservation District. Nine years ago this morning, we were leaving for Mexico and by nine years ago tonight we were on the windswept beach, hoisting a toast to the future as big waves crashed ashore.
Well, what we thought of as the future then turned out to be very good to us. By May 2001, we became career Forest Service Volunteers, going on to log over 4,000 official hours in seven seasons. Meanwhile, we sold most of our Arizona property and made a new home in Idaho. And, meanwhile, we actually went back to work in 2007, becoming conversant in yet another aspect of the World of Volunteerism.
When we retired in 2001, we had zero cash flow, near zero liquid assets and practically zero cash in the bank. We had no logical reason whatsoever to think that we could "retire" and survive and prosper. And yet we did. We trusted God and The Universe and together, everything worked out great.
We learned there's something good comes out of everything. We learned not to fear change--afterall, a change in plans is usually what brings in the brightest and the best. We learned to trust our instincts and our hearts and each other to make good decisions. We learned that you can be anywhere and have a great time. No matter where you are, there you are and you are there. We learned there isn't some mythical place somewhere that "has it all." Nope, you've got it all no matter where you are. To paraphrase The Beatles, "And in the end, The Happiness You Take is equal to the Happiness You Make."
The past nine years have been a great ride for us and prepared us well for the years ahead. We are looking forward to the big changes that will take place here in Y2Ten. As much as we are eager and anxious to move into those changes, we have learned that living each day to the fullest is essential to helping usher in future changes. We simply can't "fast forward" ahead to those changes. All of the painstaking groundwork and details of transition must be attended to with equal attention. Today is equally as good as any day and we are Happy Campers.
Remember the adage: "They call yesterday history and tomorrow the future. But today's a gift--that's why they call it The Present."