So I'm going to do something I don't usually do: talk about video games.
It ate my life and owns my soul.
Becca and I were talking about life, and how she's started viewing everything not necessarily as good or bad, but as an experience, because a lot of times, she thought things had to go from point A to point B, like in a basic, RPG type videogame.
Someone else has set out a path, and you're supposed to follow the linear storyline, do you necessary quests, fight your boss battles, pick up items, and reach your highest level and finish the game, but life isn't like that, boys and girls. Life is more like Skyrim (oh, how I wish...); you have a story arc, but it's entirely up to you how much you do. You can choose any perks you feel like and create basically any kind of class you want. It's like the best of every tabletop RPGs, where you have open class creation and pretty open world creation.
But life is like that. I've talked about it before. It's not necessarily about getting to the end point. There's no GO to pass, and if you do, it's kind of iffy whether or not anyone is going to hand you $200 for absolutely nothing, usually, as in the case of LIFE, you have to pay for everything.
To quote the good Shepard Book, "How you get there is the worthier part." It's a concept that I've talked about several times with Becca and Rosalinde. There's not actually a magical end point. Your life satisfaction gauge is never going to max out, not even when you're in your forties, happily married with beautiful children, a steady lucrative job, and a dog, blah blah blah. (That sounds intolerable, by the way.)
So it doesn't make any sense to live as if that's true.
And that's not just us consoling ourselves for not doing anything with our lives yet.
There's not an outside standard to follow. There's no progress bar. No one is going to show you your life is 30% complete, and if you have a quest marker other than on your GPS, I suggest you seek medical attention.
And I'm starting to stray from my point, because theoretically I actually have a thread to follow, so I should shut up probably.
But my point here is that we should live mindfully. Pick up a few side quests, and don't be afraid to ignore some as well. Life is as much of an adventure as you make it. If you follow the paved, well-tended, high traffic highway, you'll be able to get exactly where you aim for, but if you wander off on side paths and get completely lost, you're likely to find all kinds of fun stuff, and more than a few rare items.