Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Risk-Free Life Plan?

 

The question of having it all flummoxes a lot of people. I do not understand this obsession. Where is it written that life and success are risk-free enterprises?

A recent Washington Post Op-Ed raised the question about couples having children later in life, missing out on time with their parents, being deprived of a misbegotten youth, and other things.

Life is for the living. Defining own success, as an artist or an entrepreneur, an accountant or politician, as a parent or spouse, as a singleton traveling the world, is really about freedom and individual responsibility.

The journey rocks. Embrace it. Live right, be worthy, make a difference. What are your thoughts, Ricochet-ers?

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  1. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I prefer to experience life through video games…

    • #1
    • July 9, 2012, at 10:41 AM PDT
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  2. Boymoose Inactive
    Ken Owsley: I prefer to experience life through video games… · 6 minutes ago

    Portal 2?

    • #2
    • July 9, 2012, at 10:48 AM PDT
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  3. Cylon Inactive

    My thoughts? I guess Journey rocks, a bit soft for my taste. I am a sucker for the guilty pleasure of “Open Arms,” though. I was always much more of an Asia fan. For that matter, REO Speedwagon was a much more rockin’ band than Journey.

    • #3
    • July 9, 2012, at 10:52 AM PDT
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  4. The (apathetic) King Prawn Inactive

    Having spent 6 hours in the van with the children last week I’ll take a rain check on evaluating the journey…

    • #4
    • July 9, 2012, at 10:55 AM PDT
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  5. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My bride and I both grew up in straitened lower middle-class circumstances (her dad was a small town auto mechanic, mine a low end civil servant) with five kids in each family. We got married at 21 and 19, and our total wedding largesse, other than the usual punch bowls and towels, etc., was $100 and a lot of love. I was in my 3rd of 5.5 years of undergrad college, my wife was a 6 months-in-nursing-school dropout. I won’t bore you with automobile (mis)adventures or some of the places we lived. Our oldest daughter was born one month after I graduated- and I didn’t have a job.

    Somehow, we survived it all and prospered, physically and spiritually. I would not have traded one moment or one experience between then and now for free tuition, a trust fund, and vacations at daddy’s Vail condo.

    • #5
    • July 9, 2012, at 11:16 AM PDT
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  6. ConservativeWanderer Inactive

    I happen to be a big fan of train travel (and wish there was a way to save Amtrak without more government spending). Train travel really teaches you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, or at least it does if it’s good. You just sit back and watch the scenery go by, or read a book, or get up and wander the train. Unlike planes, you’re not stuffed in like a cattle car, and you’re not groped before getting on one, or at least you weren’t the last time I took a train trip.

    Besides, if you think about it, the ultimate destination of life is… death. I’d rather make the journey to that destination as filled with joy as possible, thankyouverymuch.

    • #6
    • July 9, 2012, at 11:16 AM PDT
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  7. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Russ Roberts had a very good session a couple of months ago with Dr. Taleb talking about risk and battling, anti-fragility, etc.

    http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/01/taleb_on_antifr.html

    • #7
    • July 9, 2012, at 11:20 AM PDT
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  8. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    I didn’t marry until I was 36 and my wife was 32. Our second (and I assume last) child was born the year I turned 40.

    To one point: that having children when you are older keeps you young, I firmly believe this. My kids definitely have this effect on me. I know men my age (46) who already have grandchildren. To me, they look OLD, whereas I think I still look pretty good for a guy nearing his 50s. (Confirmation bias!)

    There was an interview I heard on NPR a few years ago with a woman who took the position that women shouldn’t assume that they must establish a career first, then pause it to have children, then go back to their careers . . . but to have those children first, in their early twenties, get it out of the way . . . and then by mid-forties when they’re out of the house and on their own, the career can go forward at full-blast, no pauses.

    That seems to make sense to me. And I think it probably applies to men in today’s society as well.

    • #8
    • July 9, 2012, at 11:30 AM PDT
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  9. Liberty Dude Inactive

    I think – you’re awesome for the encouraging post, Ms. Blackney. Will make my day easier.

    The rest follows.

    • #9
    • July 10, 2012, at 1:04 AM PDT
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  10. Profile Photo Member

    One of the wisest men who ever lived, and one who was wealthy enough to pursue all his interests and passions all the way to the end, provided a better answer than I can. So I’ll just quote him:

    “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth,before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”—”

    And then after enumerating what lies ahead for anyone who lives long enough, he concluded:

    “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind”

    We have been given a lot of latitude in the choices we make about what to do with our lives. But if you live it just for yourself I predict a sad ending.

    (Quotes from Ecclesiastes 12.)

    • #10
    • July 10, 2012, at 4:41 AM PDT
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  11. Ross C Member
    Ross C Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Nice sentiments, but your post smacks (to me) of being written by someone who does have it all. I am not trying (too hard) to be difficult, and I don’t know your circumstances, but….

    It is of course a good plan to enjoy your life. Some people do have it hard. I have a distant, cousin my mothers age who has buried three of her children. I think “life is for the living” and “its all about individual responsibility” would be a pretty bold sentiments to tell her.

    In many respects life is a lottery, people most commonly get what they deserve, but it is not unusual to get far less than they deserve, through little fault of their own. I am pretty thankful I did not arrive on this planet in North Korea or Iran. I’ll take Arkansas, as it is, any day.

    So all that said, I don’t disagree, live life, walk on sunshine, but we should have a deep sense of wonder, humility, and admiration that things are going our way.

    • #11
    • July 10, 2012, at 6:30 AM PDT
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  12. David Foster Member
    David Foster Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Just throwing away some old copies of Forbes, and saved some of the end pages with the quotes. Here’s one that’s appropriate:

    “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom”…Soren Kierkegaard

    Some people can’t take the anxiety, so they’d just as soon skip the freedom.

    • #12
    • July 10, 2012, at 12:03 PM PDT
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  13. Profile Photo Member

    Elizabeth, you hit the nail on the head. There is no such thing as a risk free life; there is no guaranteed happiness. The fact that the author’s mother died young is wrenching, but I know of at least several women who had children young and died young too. The author of this piece seems like a perfectionist. She wants to bring her children into a perfect world and give them a perfect life, but there is no such thing. If she is waiting until a child will not harm her career prospects, she will be waiting forever.

    • #13
    • July 10, 2012, at 12:32 PM PDT
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  14. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member
    ConservativeWanderer: I happen to be a big fan of train travel (and wish there was a way to save Amtrak without more government spending). Train travel really teaches you to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, or at least it does if it’s good. You just sit back and watch the scenery go by, or read a book, or get up and wander the train. Unlike planes, you’re not stuffed in like a cattle car, and you’re not groped before getting on one, or at least you weren’t the last time I took a train trip.

    Besides, if you think about it, the ultimate destination of life is… death. I’d rather make the journey to that destination as filled with joy as possible, thankyouverymuch. · 1 hour ago

    Forget Amtrak. If you want great train travel, buy a first-class ticket (best, buy out the 4 passenger cabin) on a Chinese train going overnight between two major cities, like Shanghai and Beijing. Do that trip once, and you’ll never go near US trains again.

    • #14
    • July 10, 2012, at 12:45 PM PDT
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  15. ConservativeWanderer Inactive
    Duane Oyen

    Forget Amtrak. If you want great train travel, buy a first-class ticket (best, buy out the 4 passenger cabin) on a Chinese train going overnight between two major cities, like Shanghai and Beijing. Do that trip once, and you’ll never go near US trains again. · 2 minutes ago

    I’d rather stay away from communist countries where Christians are persecuted, thanks. :)

    On the other hand, I’ve heard that Europe has a number of wonderful train trips, and not necessarily on high-speed trains… though that may have changed since the last time I looked.

    • #15
    • July 10, 2012, at 12:49 PM PDT
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