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Old 09-19-05, 06:30 PM   #1
Blackberry
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The Good Life

I was thinking of asking this over in the Foo section, but I figured it would be more interesting to ask people with some real life experience: What--for you--constitutes the good life?

By good life, I mean a life well lived, a life enjoyed and a life that has meaning--all according to YOUR own values. Cycling can figure as much or little as you want in your answer.
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Old 09-19-05, 07:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry
I was thinking of asking this over in the Foo section, but I figured it would be more interesting to ask people with some real life experience: What--for you--constitutes the good life?

By good life, I mean a life well lived, a life enjoyed and a life that has meaning--all according to YOUR own values. Cycling can figure as much or little as you want in your answer.
At my eulogy, I want them to honestly say - "There goes a good man, a good father and a good husband."
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Old 09-19-05, 07:39 PM   #3
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If you make a positive contribution to the greater good, then you have "the good life". A committed loving relationship with your spouse is "the good life". Everything else pales in comparison. To me cycling is somewhat negative because it often takes away from time I could be spending with my family. That is why I mostly cycle early on Sunday mornings when the rest of my family is still asleep. I also try and arrange my work schedule so that I can take some time off early on Thursday mornings when everyone else is at work or in school. That means that I have to do quite a bit of work at home in the evenings, but I can do that after my children are asleep. Only my youngest son (aged 9) likes to ride and my times riding with him are precious, another part of "the good life". We are already planning on riding the entire completed-sometime-in-the-future bike trail from Key West to Maine after he graduates from High School. Most of it should be in place by then and I should be 60 years old. I hope he remembers that I don't drop him now, because by then he will be 18 and should be able to ride me into the dust if he wanted to.
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Old 09-19-05, 07:47 PM   #4
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The good life for me is having my health and having a happy, healthy family near me.

It also means being able to be of good to others, which, thankfully, is also the mindset of the rest of my family.

Being in a nice community and neighborhood with some good friends also helps.

Edit: I also really am happy that my oldest daughter (18) has found a guy she really loves and that I've really grown fond of the guy myself (not in that way!!!). Initially, I wasn't sure. He was a nice guy, but too quiet and reserved. Well, that's changed. He's opened up and is a great guy with a quirky sense of humor like me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a big part of my "good life" is that I'm feeling my daughters are on their way to great lives long after I'm gone.
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Old 09-19-05, 08:32 PM   #5
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I was pondering some answers--I know it has nothing to do with money, other than enough that you don't have to worry about it all the time--when I read DnvrFox's hope for his eulogy. That's almost exactly the last line of the eulogy I gave for my father two years ago: "He was a good man, a good guy and a good father." If my son can say that about me, I don't think I'd want any more.
Specifically, I want to be able to take care of my responsibilities, to my wife, my children and the world. I don't owe my family luxuries, but I do owe them the best I can do. I'm not religious at all, but the way I think I should live comes close to some people's idea of a "Christian" life: Honesty, fairness, tolerance. I want time for my family and for a few things I enjoy on my own, cycling and other hobbies, and as I get older (I'm 60), I value that even more. Nothing I can do in my job at this late date is going to change my life much, so if I have a choice of being a star in the office or knocking off at 5 and going to one of my kids' games, I'm out the door.
As for the world, I feel a real duty to live modestly, bordering on minimally--use less energy, buy less stuff I don't need, things like that. Whatever our generation uses up won't be there for our children and grandchildren, and a lot of us are profligate in our habits.
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Old 09-19-05, 08:35 PM   #6
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The good life is when you have learned to appreciate the life you have and is genuinely participating in sharing that knowlege with others especially the ones that are close to you. And since this is the bike forum, I make it a point to gather as many of my family members as possible to have them do a mtb ride on New Years day. This makes New Years for them more memorable than doing the usual sitting around eating and watching the tube.
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Old 09-19-05, 09:20 PM   #7
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What--for you--constitutes the good life?

By good life, I mean a life well lived, a life enjoyed and a life that has meaning

Health and happiness which is to a large extent a state of mind thus a poor man may be happy while a rich man miserable. A rich man indeed is he who is happy with his lot.
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Old 09-19-05, 11:22 PM   #8
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Very, very good question. Maybe it's something I can get closer to the answer on one my next long solo rides. From reading the other's posts, though I can't find much to disagree with.

I know it feels better when I'm happy at home, at work and with myself.......
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Old 09-20-05, 02:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackberry
What--for you--constitutes the good life?
I wrote this for myself in 1992 as a sort of personal creed or mission statement. I still believe in it today, and it would be my answer to your question:

"To love and be loved,
To learn and to teach
To walk the path with heart,
To stretch beyond my reach.
To change, and be changed,
To make the world a better place.
To move, to grow, and through it all,
To live my life with grace."

I'm glad you started this thread. I've thoroughly enjoyed the responses so far.
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Old 09-20-05, 05:47 AM   #10
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After having two heart attacks (major) and bypass surgery in the last 12 months, the good life to me is getting fit by riding and swimming, so that I can enjoy life with the family (one son 22 wife 50 and all the in-laws), good wine good friends and good times.

Living life to the full.

Go to to the grave kicking and screaming, with a beer in one hand and owing the bank!!!!
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Old 09-20-05, 06:06 AM   #11
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I'm living it right now. I will be 55 in about six weeks. I have a wife of 34 years that I count as the greatest blessing a man could have and two daughters that are a credit to the human race. One is getting married in a few weeks to one of the most honorable young men I have ever met, and the other one is pregnant with our first grandchild. I have a job that I love, no debts that I can't pay, people that love me, a snug roof over my head, and too much food in my pantry.

When he was my age my father was already an old man, beaten down by demeaning labor. I am able to spend my energy riding my bicycle with good friends who greet me with a smile and a hug.

Lastly, I have a faith in God that keeps all of these blessings in perspective and makes me grateful for each sunrise.
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Old 09-20-05, 08:51 AM   #12
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Thanks, guys, for these very thoughtful and inspiring posts. There's a lot of positive news here. It seems the good life isn't defined by externals such as a big house, climbing the corporate ladder, or even owning a fine Italian racing bike. Rather, it seems to come from the things we can influence most--relationships with the people who are most important to us, a sense of gratitude, and a desire to keep growing.
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