Happy Birthday to me.


Today is my birthday.  I have taken the trouble today to plan out the rest of my life.  Here it is:

53 - 2007
54 - 2008
55 - 2009
56 - 2010
57 - 2011
58 - 2012
59 - 2013
60 - 2014
61 - 2015
62 - 2016
63 - 2017
64 - 2018
65 - 2019
66 - 2020
67 - 2021
68 - 2022
69 - 2023
70 - 2024
71 - 2025
72 - 2026
73 - 2027
74 - 2028
75 - 2029
76 - 2030
77 - 2031
78 - 2032
79 - 2033
80 - 2034
81 - 2035
82 - 2036
83 - 2037
84 - 2038
85 - 2039
86 - 2040
87 - 2041
88 - 2042
89 - 2043
90 - 2044

Now, you should understand that I am not planning on dying at age 90.  I am simply not planning my life past that age.  
You can see that even the planning that I am doing is not so involved.  I am just marking my age each year.  Is this an issue with you?  You think that life planning should include dreams and desires, loves and compassion's?  Well, that may be true.  However, the only sure thing that I can predict is that in thirty years I will be thirty years older. Or dead.  And of course, paid my taxes.  
You are right about hopes and plans, though.  I did do a list of things that I enjoy and have on my "to-do" list.  
Hike or Bike -
    Appalachian Trail, hike from Georgia to Maine
    East Coast Greenway bike from Florida Keys to Maine
    Iceland - all around bike ride.  There are hostels every 30-50 kilometers, easy for a biker.  
    Newfoundland - all around bike ride.  You could camp anywhere there, it is so unpopulated.
    to live, retire.  The problem is that Israel now is not the same as the Israel that I lived in from 1974 to 1986.  Then, the country was still in the middle east, developing.  Now, it is so developed, that the "developing status" was removed.  In order to live in a place like the Israel I remember, I would have to live in Jordan or Lebanon.  Ironic.
Pay Off Mortgage.
    I took a 15 year mortgage when I bought the house three years ago.  I didn't want to have to be paying a mortgage after I would be retired.  Was that a good strategy?  If I will be retiring to Israel, then i will be selling the house and who cares if the mortgage would be paid off then?  This is sort of a conflict in monetary policy, personal style.
Write books
    Mostly interested in SF.  However, I haven't written much, and if one hasn't written much by this age, then when will he ever?  
Ham Radio
    I find that Ham Radio is a big time waster.  I like having a working station, and having a place to putter around.  But to spend any large amounts of time on it seems to take me away from other pursuits.
    Be their Grandpa.  Funny how this got pushed so far down the list.  Guess I just take it for granted.  
    Coast Guard Auxiliary. I volunteer to go on patrols on boats.  Totally other people's boats.  That is the idea.  The famous quote is that a "boat is a hole in the water where you throw your money."  So I don't.  I don't have so much money that I can afford to throw it in a hole in the water.  But as a Coastie, I have plenty of opportunity to go out on the water and have a good time at US Government expense.
    Buy my own boat and use it.  Maybe after i retire and if I don't move to Israel.

And if those are things that i am planning, what is it that I am giving up?
Yes, I did have other plans.  But some things get lost or dropped with time.  
Higher Education
    I am talking about a masters or PhD.d.  I don't capitalize these because the value to me has become less and less important.  I was in a masters program at one time.  But the little Jewish college never offered anything that I was really interested in.  They did offer a course in "Amos Oz" the Israeli author.  It would cost me $900 to read all of the books.  I said to myself that I could read them for free.  I don't need to pay tuition to do that.  In fact, almost any course is available without tuition.  I think the most important advantage of a college education is all those contacts that you make and keep for future employment opportunities.  I ended up reading all of Amos Oz's books, some of them in the original Hebrew.  
    This is probably not going to happen.  To be a synagogue rabbi.  I am close with someone who is a rabbi in a shul, and you know, he is frustrated in that job.  If I do not need it, then it is better not to have it.  
Radio Talk Show
    I tried this also.  You know, it is a stretch to go from having your own amateur radio station to performing on a commercial radio station.  I was nervous before each show, and i didn't like that feeling.  But the main headache was selling advertising time to support the show.  

And there are things that I am not now planning to do, but I may come back and do or take them up.
   I have written five sefrei Torah, and uncounted tiffilin and mezuzos.  I might come back to that in the future, and i am not "writing it off" so to speak.  I sometimes compare this sort of "writing" to the job that I am doing now (well, not really right now, right now I am wasting the taxpayer's money...).  I liked the work, and all.  It is basically working for one's self, I can work when I want, and such.  Problem with that is that I am so lazy that I don't get started until 11:00 am some days.  But that was in my "youth", maybe now I will be a little more disciplined.  The "pay" is a bit less than what I am doing now, but if I didn't need so much money, the hours would be much better.  
    Actually, I am teaching two periods a day currently.  High school.  I have taught as college adjunct also.  Boy, are these kids wild!  The principal supports me, though and we are removing a couple of kids from the class.  They can do that in a private school.  
    I have thought of starting my own business, everything from restaurant (bad idea) to Solar panels for private homes (good idea).  Maybe.  



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