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What Will You Do With Your Dash Years?

What Will You Do With Your Dash Years?

By Mike Drak

“I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning…to the end

He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
Know what that little line is worth

For it matters not, how much we own,
The cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile,
Remembering this special dash
Might only last a little while

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash…
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent YOUR dash?”

– by Linda Ellis, Copyright © 2020, thedashpoem.com

Mike Drak – Retirement Rebel
Feb 17th 2020 – ?

Yesterday I sent the manuscript of my new retirement book to my editor which will be released later this year. While it took three years to write (I’m a pretty slow writer) I like it and believe it will help a lot of retirees that feel the same way about life that I do.

I turned 65 in October 2019 and today with the book finished I’m officially announcing the start of my own personal Victory Lap. All I can say is “about time!”

I just love the above poem by Linda Ellis and how it really highlights what is truly important in our lives.

I can now say I’m fully focused on my own “dash.”. 

I started my “dash” on Feb 17th 2020 and even though I can’t go back and change things, I can certainly influence them moving forward. My immediate goal is to squeeze the most life out of the next ten years as possible.

I have a lot adventures planned out on my bucket list and expect that I will be healthy enough over the next ten years to get them done. After that as long as my health holds up I will keep adding to that list. I believe it is the adventures and being exposed to new things that keeps life interesting for me.

Also, I never plan on retiring. I believe it would be a big mistake to retire from doing something that you love to do. My biggest hope for my future is that I get to avoid the dreaded nursing home – oh and also get to die with my boots on!

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Mike Drak

Author, Retirement Coach and Public Speaker at Victory Lap Retirement
Mike Drak is a thirty-eight year veteran of the financial services and lives with his wife Melina in Toronto, Canada. Mike is the Author of the best-selling book Victory Lap Retirement and also an award winning blogger, retirement coach and public speaker. Mike has also appeared on BNN, CBC Radio and iHeart radio.