What are you afraid of?


What are you afraid of?

The question can be asked two ways. One way is out of human curiosity and possibly meant to start a philosophical discussion.

The other way is a SNAP OUT OF IT kind of way. 

I was talking to the little old guy at the end of our driveway yesterday. He came down to invite us to his barbecue.  We were in the middle of loading a moving truck before we headed off to meet friends to watch fireworks. He figured out that we were moving because we said, "Yeah, we're moving" and then decided it was a good time to chat.

Note: If you're neighbors are frantically packing a moving truck, either help or get out of their hair. They're busy and too polite to tell you to pick up a box or tell your story walking.

Anyway... our little old neighbor, rather than letting us get our work done, starting in on his usual chat. Some old people, with all of their years of memories, tend to hang on to one story/complaint/idea and chew on it like a dog with a meatless bone. This guy is one of those old people. Our conversation went much as it always does. 

  1. We talked about the trees that needed to be trimmed because of the fire hazard (he's a landscaper, so a self-serving complaint).
  2. He asked how the kids were doing (the kids that he sees walking past his house with the dog ever day).
  3. And then he said that the owners of our house would never be able to sell the house because they're asking too much (even though they aren't asking anything for the house). 

And then, sparked by the topic of us moving to Mexico, we got to another one of his standard topics, which was his plan to move to Europe and how he doesn't want go until he can rent his house to someone he trusts because you can't rent the house to just anyone. 

The first time I heard this idea, I thought, "Wow... that's a really cool thing to do after working for so many years. Hope he and his wife enjoy the lifelong dream of living abroad." But over the last couple of years of being his neighbor and hearing him talk about how long he's been planning to do this and then ending with his concern about who would rent his house, I know that this guy is one of those people that just likes to say they want to do something, but they're going to let fear stand in their way until it's too late to do anything.

And then they die.

Dreams unrealized.

I kinda want to say "SNAP OUT OF IT!!! " to him, but I'm too polite, and really, it's not my place. I'm just glad that, although there are plenty of things we could get hung up about, we're making our move anyway. I can't say that there aren't a lot of nervous butterflies bouncing around in my belly, but I can say that beyond the fear of not knowing what's on the other side is the fear of becoming one of those old people that hangs on to the same story/complaint/idea and never moves on to living before it's too late.

At the very least, this should be interesting!