This is a poignant prompt for me as I did just this on February 11th 2012 the day after I had news which would mean that I may not live to the old age we all expect though know when we are confronted with it, it is always provisional. It was instructive though as I struggled to find activities or as yet unseen places to do or to visit. I had no sudden desire to go white water rafting or parachute off a mountain or visit the deepest recesses of continents like Africa or South America I had as yet failed to experience. In fact more important was to continue in work and try to complete my own personal projects including trying to help the public probation service survive against the government desire for privatisation and rolling out of state services.
I was struck as I sought to map what I wanted to do that I was engaged in a life I was pretty happy with (it had had plenty of ups and downs but I did not have a sense of missing out) and it had left me with little unfulfilled desires. I am always happy to experience new things but when I thought about what I most wanted to do it was centred on people and places I already had lots of knowledge of. What became beginning, middle and end of my list was the desire to spend as much time as I could with my close family, my friends, to re-visit the places which meant so much to me – Hong Kong, Whitby, Dales, Weymouth and Dorset, Brittany and others – to re-connect to those times which just make me smile. In doing so I could create new memories with my children and my friends.
Over two years on I am still guided by that philosophy and have experienced a real sense of energy and life through this goal directed approach. On the surface I am still doing what I have been doing but with an energy and engagement which has renewed my zest for life. I hope it will continue for some years yet, but whatever happens, it is a philosophy which guides my decision making.