I dig free form Fridays.  A chance for me to stray a bit from the running norm, but never too far.

One of the Three Wise Men (Upstream regulars that solve the world’s problems on a weekly basis), Dave, is having a dilemma.  After working for 35 years at the same company he is faced with an uncertain future due to a “gently persuasive” retirement option.  We’ve been counseling him for the last couple of years to sever that tether, he’s paid his dues and should be segueing into finer days.

But Dave is from another time, a generation just prior to mine.  When a person was defined only by employment.  His biggest fear is that Society will deem him a failure if he “quits” his job.  Having taken a vow to clean up my sailor’s language I refrained from what my heart wanted to reply about society’s expectations.  So I merely said Hakuna Matata.

I also told those gathered at the impromptu counseling session that if I were to have the big grabber on the way home that my last moments above the sod would be with a smile on my face.  Knowing that I’ve lived my life according to my own design, happy with my sense of worth and contributions to making this world a better place.

Having been a stay at home dad for the last 20 years, I’ve never defined myself by society’s traditional employment values.  And that has given me a completely different perspective on what true happiness means to me.  That attitude hasn’t set well with some, especially here in conservative West Mayo-ville.  That I would have the hubris to live my life singularly and happily defies a lot of  people’s narrow view of the world, one I don’t care to be a part of.  Again my vow won’t let me tell you what they can do with their efforts to define me.  That is my message to Dave.  Live the rest of Your own life as You want, damn the torpedos!

Heading down the road manana for the State Farm 10 Mile, will be good to bust some of the rust from the 80+ mile weeks I’ve been hitting.  The open men’s race should be blazing, a Perfect last tune up for the upcoming Boston Marathon and a great fitness indicator for Lincoln in just a few weeks.  But the women’s masters race just might be the hottest of the morning.  Never ones to shy away from racing the best, our mates Stacy Shaw, Natalie Jetensky, and Linda Barnhart will be toeing the line with those shiny badges on their singlets, looking to prove who the top gun is this week.  Stacy is our top marathoner, Natalie our best 5-10K runner, and Linda the obvious speedster who has been mimicking my mileage this spring.  Catch them if you can!