My nonagenarian friend Leroy recently moved into an assisted living apartment. His vision has deteriorated to the extent that he believes he’s legally blind. Although he’s fully able to move around and perform basic tasks, Leroy had been worrying about possibly falling. If he should have a personal emergency, Leroy wants the security of having aid nearby.
One of my friend’s slices of personal philosophy is that he never formulated a specific purpose for his life. Leroy does not believe in living a conventional, cookie-cutter life. Although this approach seems radical and unconventional, it works quite well for Leroy. This is not to say that my friend has been irresponsible; he has done quite well for himself and his loved ones. Early in his life, he practiced a few good habits that became a sturdy foundation and basic life support. Among those was the practice of setting a percentage of each paycheck aside for savings and investments.
By the time Leroy was 52, he had had enough conventional life. His life partner had died. Their adopted twins had graduated from the University of Nebraska to start their own lives. He was bored with working his 9 to 5 office job. Leroy retired early and decided to take on life–strictly one day at a time with no rigid agendas.
He went on to live the life singer Lou Reed would have lived without the angst, addiction problems, and music history that Reed became known for. No, Leroy wants to live life on his own terms and to be conscious of every precious day. He has travelled to various countries for no reasons at all. He used to leave home for months at a time only to “wander the wilderness”. Leroy volunteered to do grunt work in the aftermath of Hurricane Francis in Florida. Closer to home, he was part of the clean up crew following the twin tornadoes destruction of Pilger, Nebraska a few years ago.
His last major foray was marching in an LGBTQ Pride parade in Bialystock, Poland when the celebrants were attacked by radical right wing thugs. He was hospitalized for a collapsed lung as a result of being shoved onto the street. Despite the frightening experience, Leroy says he would march in Poland again.
Now that he has settled down into a more or less conventional life situation, Leroy vows to remain a “somewhat outrageous fellow”, as much as he can. He still does not have an overall plan as to how he will live his remaining days on Earth. Leroy is certain that he might raise a few eyebrows, because he hasn’t given up on the dynamics of living a full life.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes satirist, theologian, and writer, Mike Yaconelli. “Boldness doesn’t mean rude, obnoxious, loud, or disrespectful. Being bold is being firm, sure, confident, fearless, daring, strong, resilient, and not easily intimidated. It means you’re willing to go where you’ve never been, willing to try what you’ve never tried, and willing to trust what you’ve never trusted. Boldness is quiet, not noisy.”