The Curious Case of Living

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The Curious case of Living
How are you living?

Today I tweeted an update “Age is not a number, it is an attitude. What age are you really?” It is funny how that tweet came to my head and then this evening I watched the Curious Case of Benjamin Button for the first time. A movie that actually defines this very idea.

Benjamin Button understood the truth to life- that we are dying one day at a time. A truth that no one remembers to tell you every day; a truth that should be told to you every day so that you understand life is here to be lived fully.

Benjamin Button understood this truth because he had an unusual condition that made him question and seek answers. A condition that separated him from everyone else, and with the separation came the ability to see the world through different eyes. Benjamin started his life out as an old man. This is how the world perceived him unaware that inside he was just a young boy. And because of that aged facade he was not shielded from the truth to life.

Benjamin knew that life had to be savoured every step of the way and lived with reckless abandon. And although the movie was a work of fiction, an incredible far fetched one at that, I was moved to tears by the passion with which he lived his life, the kindness he displayed to everyone, the wonder that lived through him with each new moment, and with how deeply he loved. He understood aging and death and so understood life completely. You cannot fully know one without knowing the other.

Benjamin Button
Cannot miss the opportunity to put a naked Brad Pitt on my blog

Our time here on earth is limited, we will eventually die at a time none of us will ever know, and we will have to witness those we love passing through our lives. Benjamin’s condition made him aware that “life is a series of intersecting lives and incidents, out of anyone’s control. You can be as mad as a mad dog at the way things went. You could swear, curse the fates, but when it comes to the end, you have to let go.”

Life is about letting go to the dramas of our life that seem to consume so much of our time and instead taking that new energy that comes with the letting go and putting it into loving deeply and living passionately.

Benjamin Button knew that Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss. The question we need to ask ourselves every day is how am I letting the opportunities of the day define my life? What ones am I missing that I should be taking?

“Some people, were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people, dance.” What is it that you were born to do?

My favourite part of the movie came when he left his daughter and wife, Daisy,  knowing that he was getting younger and Daisy could not raise 2 children. Tears streamed down my face at this part of the movie (I can’t watch anything like this that involves parents and children and not cry now I am a mum) He writes a postcard to his daughter every year with a statement of how much he wished he could be with her. On one postcard,  as he travels around the world as a now young adult,  he writes

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

It is never to late to start living.

What age are you really and why?


55 thoughts on “The Curious Case of Living”

  1. Great post Caz. As people that love travel we share a common bond in the fact that we hope to live our lives to the fullest. There is so much to see out there and I’m constantly thinking about ways to see more of the world. This post reminded me of this quote from The Namesake,

    `Do yourself a favor before it’s too late, without thinking too much about it first, pack a pillow and a blanket and see as much of the world as you can. You will not regret it. One day it will be too late.´

    1. Great post and like this comment. Do agree to see the world more before it is too late. I just think too much before i read this post.

      Cheers,

  2. Nice, thought-provoking post. The concepts of age being an attitude and “it’s never to late to start living” seem so simple. Through travel blogging and social media networks, I associate everyday with people who, by age, are sometimes much younger than I am. I love interacting with anyone with a love of travel and hearing about their adventures, and it’s nice that some of these people enjoy hearing about my travels, although they might be different from theirs.

    However, I’m constantly surprised by people that just don’t get it. Their lifestyles are dictated by the age group they find themselves, whether or not there are physical circumstances that may affect them. They just see some things as being for the “when we were young” part of their lives and others because that’s what older people do. And then there are people who make assumptions about others based on an age — young people about older people and vice versa. I don’t get it. I don’t feel burdened by an age number. I’m driven by a desire to get to a lot more places in the world and experience much more in life. I think that’s a good driving force for people of any age.

    1. Yes. We have noticed that a lot even upon returning home. We find that a lot of people we know seem almost burdened down with the responsibilities that come with families and adult living that they seem to think there is no room in their lives for joy and laughter anymore- or doing the things that make their hearts sing. You can find the space in your life for these things, in fact, it is vital that you do.

  3. Great post Caz. This speaks to our whole “No Vacation Required” philosophy – live your dream life every day. We made the decision to do just that; to not defer our dreams but instead live them now. It is isn’t the easiest decision. It takes some guts, a lot of planning and you have to get very comfortable with a healthy dose of uncertainty. But it is SO worth it!

    We also have a saying, “we will take the boat when we have to.” This stems from a choice we had to make when we were hiking in the Tetons. We could take the boat across the lake or hike an additional 2.5 miles. Our thinking is that there will come a time when we don’t have a choice – we will have to take the boat. So for now, we take the long route while we can.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post!

    1. Don’t you just love it how stories like this create such meaningful and wise lessons that you can take with you and use forever to steer you on the right path. Great story.

  4. My Grandma acted like she had one foot in the grave since she was 43. She lived to be 86. She spent half of her life feeling and acting “old.” Age is more attitude than number. I’m bound and determined to keep young and never subscribe to “getting old.” Great post, Craig and Caz!

  5. It doesn’t matter to me if people travel or not…but it does matter whether they are living their life…or letting it live them! I want people to stretch and breathe and feel uncomfortable and content…if anyone ever complains then I call them on it and ask what they are doing about it. There is always something to be done! Cheers!

  6. I loved the film Benjamin Button. Reminds us of the simply things in life. Re age – I am 34 and feel 34. My experiences have lead me onto the path I am today and I am sure I will have lots more experiences to lead me further on my path. Very often a women is wrote off at 34 if she does not have children, but that is not my path is life so fine with turning a blind eye to that attitude.

  7. Love this post, Caz.

    I’m 25 and I think that’s the age I feel. I dive into things whenever possible (after planning at least a bit for the plunge – I’ve always been a planner!) and try to experience as much as I can every day, stepping outside my comfort zone to see what else is out there. I’m well aware that there are still countless things left for me to experience, and I hope I never lose the energy or the desire to get out and find them.

  8. i loved the movie, it started out slow but i loved the movie. i loved the naration of the story by his lover and how she took care of him when he was really old( a baby) it was a beautiful movie. we all should live like today is the last day on this earth

  9. Love this post Caz. I also love The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I think it’s superb movie. What I like the most about it is the explorative perspective to life. It doesn’t take everything in life as a given, it questions everything time and time again; something we should do in life if we want to get the most of it and live it the way we want. Life is full of great experiences and opportunities. We should not wait till we are mature to experience them, instead, we should mature experiencing them.

    1. We should not wait till we are mature to experience them, instead, we should mature experiencing them.

      Love this Norbert 🙂 Quote it and tweet it- a real gem

  10. Great thought provoking post. I am trying to live like that. I am doing what needs to be done to get there. After my whole ordeal I realized life is too damn short to not be happy.

    When I tell people that I am planning to travel the world for a year or two in about 9months they look at me crazy and sometimes they say, aren’t you supposed to travel the world when you are old and retired. Ummm why not now??? Is what I tell them.

    1. You are so right Jamie. Happiness is a choice and why not choose it. My favorite response to those sorts of questions is Why not? It really opens your playing field of opportunities.

  11. Great post! I think that as many of us get older we get stuck in a rut and think we’re “too old” to do things, when it really is just a manner of attitude. The most interesting dinner partner I’ve ever had was an 87 year old American living in Thailand who had just recently coming back from a diving trip and had seen a whale shark. He was the youngest looking 87 year old I’ve ever seen!

  12. Yes, ageless! Thanks for the reminder! I’m rather reluctant in promoting my blog, but in my latest post my daughter shares a film trailer detailing her life in Paris, studying, falling in love with life, and giving everything a nudge. You’ll be on the same wave-length as her. Cheers!

    1. Loved your daughters post and trailer. What a great life she must have had growing up in Paris and now doing what she is. Would love to meet her. Maybe if we make Paris next year like we dream of doing.

  13. This was just a beautiful post about something that I also feel very strongly about. The last thing I want is to live a life full of regrets. And I think if more people took the time to think about how they will feel when their life comes to an end, they would be motivated to change their ways and try to make the most out of their short time here. Instead, we try our hardest to avoid that subject.

    We all have the power to live a fulfilling life, but the biggest challenge is making that realization!

    1. Absolutely Earl. I don’t think the subject of death should be avoided. It is part of our life and we need to understand and accept that. Letting go of death in this way frees you to live fully. I hate the feeling of regret- it makes me feel as if I have wasted one of my precious days. I know I can never get it back so I try to live my life so I will never have any regrets. When I go into a new class for the first time I often talk to the students about how this one day they are living today they can never get back. They can’t go home at the end of the day and ask to have it again because they fooled around and wasted it. I ask them to think about that throughout the day and make sure they are doing all they can to make this day great. – My sneaky way of trying to control their behaviour 🙂 But it works. Sometimes a student will pass me in the playground a few days later and say “I’m making this day count miss.”- a rare event but one that makes me smile.

  14. I love your quote “Life is about letting go to the dramas of our life that seem to consume so much of our time and instead taking that new energy that comes with the letting go and putting it into loving deeply and living passionately” Life is too short now to get out there and love deep and live passionately! That why is so important for people to get away from daily life and take a vacation and enjoy the world around them!

  15. So true!! God, you guys are good. Every time I come here I leave just wanting to seize the world!!!

    What kind of special inspirational mojo juice are you drinking down there, Ozzies??

    Loves it!

    1. Ha Ha! Thank you Kelly. That is such a wonderful compliment for us to receive because that is exactly what we want people doing. Life is so wonderful we want everyone to be living it fully! We’ll ship you some juice over

  16. You know what’s funny? On my personal blog (www.reasekirchner.blogspot.com) my profile description says: ” I have the responsible logic of a 40 year old with the interests of a 7 year old boy.”

    I am definitely beyond my years when it comes to planning, finances, organization and stress. However, I am very much a kid in my love of surprises, playgrounds, laughing and spontaneity. I’m 23 and I always say I never want to be anything but in my 20s, so I think I will make it so that mentally, I never am.

  17. Some moments I am 6 years old, a skinned knee and a tree frog in my lunch pail, some moments I am 6,000, looking over mountain tops with perfect patience, free of everything. Sometimes I am what I am, 29, happy to be here, a little confused, stoked for the next moment to unfold.

    The meaning of life is to live, not to search, not to seek but to burn bright until the light fades and the curtain drops.

  18. I know this an old post but I really enoyed it. I have never wanted to see that film but now I actually want to! This weekend possilbly. Sounds quite the philosophical film, you gotta love thought-provoking insomnia inducing films!

    1. We love it when people discover our old posts! I was really surprised by the movie, I thought it might be lame, but it really pulled me in.

  19. I just turned 30, but I feel 18. Taking calculated risks, enjoying every second I have. For a while this wasn’t the case, but something changed in me around 28, and I’ll never look back.

    There is a guy in the hostel with me right now who is in his 60’s, and acts like he’s my age. Excited about life, and doesn’t let age hold him back.

    That’s how I want to be when I’m that age too!

    1. I think I will be like that to Matt. I often catch myself thinking “When are you going to grow up Caroline and act your age’ I soon get rid of that idea, where’s the fun in that!! Always young in spirit, you have to be otherwise life loses its magic. There are too many grown up problems trying to take it away.

  20. Our readers at Traveling Well tend to be a little bit older. I’ve seen first hand out on tour that age is definitely just a number. They are still searching, seeking out new experiences and new people.

  21. Great post Caz and rightly said age is not about number , its about our attitude towards life.for those who haven’t reached at the end of life should not waste any one day and make fullest out of it and for those who are in their later part (sorry but one has to count age) should acts like they are of young age and doesn’t let age hold them back. Don’t take age as an obstacle in your attitude as you can achieve everything in life it has to offer you.
    So live life fully and age will become an attitude leaving its number behind.

  22. Age is just an idea because we are as young as we think we are. You’ve made some excellent points here which we can use to live life to our fullest. In reality we all are ageless so if we take care of our body and mind we can do so many things until our bodies really start aging. Thanks for sharing!

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