I realized I'm feeling mortal, like that ticking crocodile whom I've always felt sneaking up to eat me was breathing on my flesh. My two closest friends died a month apart, and suddenly I felt that need to do EVERYTHING NOW! But of course, one can't do that. It's trade-offs. You can't throw extra thousands at your mortgage if you're also buying rare books and kimono, and trying to take vacations.
Interestingly, the one thing I don't have, and have no desire for, is any form of retirement fund (IRA, 401k, etc). I did several times, but circumstances always caused its liquidation--to buy a house, or survive a divorce, or pay the IRS for stock option taxes on stocks that skiied off the long drop... I recall my friend Jana muttering about how it was weird that in the relative world, she thought it was a *good thing* that her IRA had only lost 20% of its value in the last year...and now of course it's all irrelevant because she's dead, anyway. So who needs them? I still have a nice little pile of stocks, but those are only worth 20% of what I once paid for them, so "investment is futile."
I'd rather put my money into my mortgage (so I can abandon tech earlier), or a vacation, a good dinner, or goodies like my books and kimono. Quality of life investments, for NOW, or to reduce the time until I can also improve my quality of life by getting into a less harried (but less lucrative) line of work. I'd rather put my money into charity while I can, too. If I drop dead, who's going to donate to Second Harvest, or the folks on the Rez?
But basically, it's still that I'm trying to outrun the shadow of the Grim Reaper, feeling again how little time we have on earth, and how much I want to do. But its gotten more urgent.