This week I read the wonderful obituary of a man known simply as “H”. His actual first name was Harold but based on the description of his life I get the feeling that he lived it with such gusto that he simply did not have time for the formality of his full name.
Now that is a man you can hang out with on the front porch while sipping a cold one or bushwhack through a jungle on a grand adventure.
I kind of imagined what it would have been like to meet him for the first time. Hello, my name is Harold and I move pretty fast so all my friends just call me “H” and since pretty much everyone is my friend that is what you can call me”.
Nice to meet you “H”
Here are just a few facts there were listed about his life:
- Born 1934
- Met the love of his life in 2nd grade and was married to her 54 years before her passing
- Grew up on a 125,000 ranch near Mexico
- Started work as a roughneck at the age of 12
- Went to college on a scholarship and hitchhiked to get there carrying all he owned and his life savings of $300
- Was a star college athlete and in the ROTC
- Served as a Green Beret officer in the 101st as a low altitude paratrooper and sniper. Saw action but spoke little of it
- Post military was a pro football player
- Oil man/engineer
- Black belt
- Husband, father, grandfather and a “special friend” to a nice lady
There was even more listed but I think by now you have joined me in forming a picture of the man that was “H” and the life he lived.
My favorite part of the obituary is this quote they provided as attributed to him, “life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid sideways. Chivas in one hand – a taco in the other-body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, WHOO-HOO, ITS BEEN A LONG DUSTY RIDE.”
Consciously or unconsciously, the majority of us spend our lives seeking the safe middle ground without the risk or the joy of discomfort. We are content to get through our day, our week, our year and for many, our life without having ever really stood up stood out or taken a risk.
There is a great joy to be found in the unknown and the uncomfortable. Perhaps the craziness that is 2020 is the year for you to do some deep reflection regarding your well-preserved self and to make some uncomfortable changes.
What is one thing you can do right now this day to be bold and beyond the comfortable you? Write that thing down and make a public commitment to make it happen no matter what the cost.
I know for many this is going to be hard and I know for all that do it the reward at the end of the journey will be worth it. I am with you.
After all, don’t we all love a good drink and great taco?