A beautiful array of wildlife passes through our backyard. We’ve seen foxes, coyotes, skunks, quail and other birds, lynx, javelina and, of course, plenty of deer. A while back we had a lone deer visit us several times over a couple of days. He settled in for a few hours during each visit. I named him Buck.
I think Buck had something on his mind.
Buck inspired in me one of those reflective moods…
I wonder what Buck is thinking about right now. Is he happy?
What are Buck’s goals and priorities?
Does he know that today is Monday, a workday? Does he even care?
I think we should have a conversation.
Observing wildlife in our yard
There are several families of quail living in our yard. We see entire families of baby quail chasing after their parents to the next bush for ground-cover. We often observe a herd of javelin sauntering through our side yard on their own path. This is part of their journey to the neighborhood trashcans. They appear to have their own internal calendars and to somehow know that Tuesday is trash day. Or maybe it is their incredible sense of smell?
View from the living room of wildlife in the yard
Most of these creatures tend to come around in the early morning or late evening. I have snapped multiple pictures of these animals over the past four years. Unfortunately the pictures are taken through windows or glass doors and so they are not the sharpest photos.
Our cat, “Hershey,” has a wonderful time each day watching all the activity from his various vantage points in the house. He keeps himself entertained for hours, gazing out the windows at the birds and lizards. We are animal lovers and I often wonder what is going on in animals’ minds.
My conversation with our occasional visitor, “Buck”
I work from home and spend a lot of time at my computer. I occasionally get up to walk around and stretch. Maybe take a trip to the kitchen to get a snack or a glass of water. One day, I saw a deer standing right outside near our patio.
Buck decides to sit down and stare at me.
Our uninvited but welcome guest, “Buck.” Is he waiting for lunch?
I stood there staring at Buck as he stared back at me. It had to be at least 10 minutes—hanging out and watching him, just to see what he would do. He merely sat there, gazing back at me. I finally went back to work.
After several hours, I passed through the living room and noticed that Buck was still there! I wondered what the heck was going on, so I decided to have a conversation with him.
Bryan: Hey Buck, my name is Bryan. Are you waiting on me for something? What’s on your mind?
Buck: Hey I am just lying down and hanging out. This gravel feels a lot more comfortable and less prickly than all those cactus plants around here.
Bryan: Do you have a family? It seems like most of the time we have visitors of the deer persuasion, they are part of a herd. Are you a loaner?
Buck: Yup, it’s just me. Last year I found a nice lady and had a kid. I didn’t like the family life so I moved on.
Bryan: That sounds very lonely, Buck. I guess it’s fine if it’s what you want. Speaking of wanting, do you set any goals? What are your priorities?
Buck: Man, you think too much. I am just hanging out and enjoying the weather. OK, if you must know I guess I have three priorities: try to stay alive, wonder what’s for lunch, and think about how nice it would be to meet another doe. But as I mentioned before, I have commitment issues.
Bryan: That sounds like a pretty simple life. Don’t you ever worry about having enough food or a place to sleep?
Buck: Nope, I pretty much live in the moment. Why worry about future stuff that will probably never happen? I have made it the last seven years without missing too many meals and have never really had difficulty finding a place to sleep. In fact, I might just take a nap right now.
Bryan: Wow! That sounds like a pretty simple life to me.
Buck: My life is pretty simple. I don’t have much stress and life is good. How about you, what are your priorities? That seems important to you.
Bryan: That’s simple for me to answer: we want to achieve debt freedom, financial independence, and leave our jobs for good.
Buck: What are debt, financial independence, and jobs?
Bryan: As humans, we tend to obsess about gaining freedom after years of having to do tasks that other people tell us to do (work) in exchange for the money they pay us. We keep doing it, though, so that we can eat, have a home (shelter) and some nice shiny things to fill it up. Also, we work so we can buy a car to drive to work. We can’t wait to stop to working for other people. Once we think we have enough saved to last the rest of our lives, we will be able to stop working.
Buck: I have to tell you, that doesn’t sound very good—having to do what other people tell you to do. Not me, I do whatever I feel like doing every day. If you truly own your things, how is it I get to lounge around in your yard? It sounds like your things own you.
Bryan: I guess I could come out there and tell you to leave but I have enjoyed this conversation. On that note, I have to go back to this electronic device and phone, to do things for a bunch of people who tell me what to do so I can save money to not need to work for them anymore. Take care!
Buck: Wow, that is screwed up! I think I will take a nap and go get something to eat later.
It’s too bad animals don’t talk
Based on pet ownership in this country, I imagine a lot of our readers have domestic pets. I often wonder what is going through our cat’s mind. Dog lovers know that their dogs can have very expressive faces when they interact with people. I wonder what is going through Buck’s mind. I suspect he lives totally in the moment.
In my imaginary conversation with Buck, I reflected on whether he has goals, desires, or priorities. I can only guess his are to stay alive, eat, and procreate. Those are very fundamental items at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We are fortunate that our basic needs are covered in our lives.
We have benefited tremendously with the clarity of our top three priorities: debt freedom, financial independence, and leaving our jobs ASAP! Decisions are easier to make when we base those decisions on whether they align with our priorities.
We are blessed and fortunate for our accomplishments. Our focus now is on our top priorities. This enables us to keep distractions to a minimum, removing the rest of the clutter and disruptions in our lives that deflect us from those objectives. Our continued emphasis on setting goals aligned with our priorities will soon enable us to have the simple lifestyle that Buck enjoys in our own backyard.