Voboril: The wedding attendee’s guide to life – Vail Daily

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With my best friend’s wedding taking place last November in the Bowery, and that one a long time coming, I am officially out of the friends’ wedding period of my life. 

It was, at one point in my late twenties and early thirties, an incredible gauntlet of matrimony and debauchery, a cross-country cavalcade of reunion and celebration. Blessed also to have family that are friends, we even had raucous and beautiful times in Tel Aviv and the gorgeous mountains close to home.  There are still weddings on the horizon (Zane and Terrell!), but suffice it to say that the frequency has long diminished. Throughout that epoch, I adhered to an important mantra: get in early, take it to the maximum, get out early. 

The intimacy of a Thursday wedding arrival allows for a chance at actual connection before the festivities start in earnest, as well as a trenchant opportunity to explore the wedding locale. Primed and connected, it is then time to let loose, to soak in the magic that a wedding has to offer, to seize every moment, every dance, and hopefully not every beverage. Once the reception is over, the after party enjoyed, the after-after party cherished, it is then time to say goodbye. Even though I love a great bougie brunch, there is an inherent malaise to the day after, a sadness at having to leave friends again, a letdown that is hard to avoid. To be the last at the party is to have to watch everyone leave before you — a difficult task for my psyche. 

A large current of contemporary discourse around health focuses on increasing longevity. Experts, hard to separate from influencers in this modern world, recite lists of supplements, treatments, diets, bio-hacks and other strategies for living longer. Frog poison, green powders, cryogenics, and their ilk are posited as potions and procedures for enlarging the human lifespan. I am presuming for the sake of this missive that these are actually effective techniques, that they are not just new iterations of well-packaged, convincingly-sold snake oils. Regardless of their efficacy, I believe that this focus largely misses the point of this life — to enjoy it to the fullest, not just the longest.

I watched both of my grandmothers outlive their spouses and friends, some by many decades. Tata even far outlived her son. They were the last guests at the wedding of life and not exactly spry either. It was depressing as hell. By that point, already prone to believing that this life is for living, that it is not the quantity of life, but its quality that matters, that experience was indelibly imprinted on my life ethos. I am not working so that I can retire and then enjoy myself, I am working while enjoying myself, while raising my daughter to soak up the splendor of this existence. 

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Life is fickle — having lost more than my fair share of friends and family members to tragic circumstances when they were in the primes of their lives, I was made to understand that our time on this planet is not under our control, but subject to forces far beyond our comprehension. It is admirable to stay healthy, to control risk, to do reasonable things to protect oneself, to not literally live each day as it is one’s last. But it is equally arrogant and solipsistic to believe that one’s fate is dependent on one’s actions or omissions alone. To forestall enjoyment, to devote oneself exclusively to longevity, to have it consume undue time when you could be having fun or cuddling a puppy or hugging your family, is a fool’s errand.

If you are able to live a long, full life surrounded by those you love or come to love as you age, that is clearly the ideal. But do not sacrifice the core years of your life chasing a fountain of youth that Ponce de Leon and his fellow conquistadors learned the hard way is only a fable. And, change your flight to your buddy’s wedding to arrive a day early. You will not be disappointed. 

T.J. Voboril is a founding partner at Alpenglow Law, LLC, a local law firm, and the Owner/Mediator at Voice Of Reason Dispute Resolution. For more information, contact Mr. Voboril at 970-306-6456, [email protected], or go to AlpenglowLaw.com.

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