It’s my Nameday. Cakeday. Birthday, and I turned 40. What does that mean in today’s age? I’ve often repeated the story leading up to this day that it’s not the same as it used to be. When I was growing up this was ‘Over the Hill’, a day for black roses, the bemoaning of the slippery slope down!
I can’t even fathom that thought. I’m not at the top of the hill, I haven’t begun to plateau. I’m just getting started!
A Pirate Looks at 40
Growing up my father and step-father were both big Parrot heads, still are. I can’t help but say some of my favorite skin tingling songs come from his repertoire. I’m not a pirate but I would say I seek opportunity and the thrill of living. For a long time I’ve held to the quote:
We take these risks, not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping us!
The author is unknown but I have a hunch it was taken from a Thomas Wolfe quote about romantics, go figure. Life shouldn’t escape us. We are here for such a brief moment in the context of the macrocosm that we should acquire what experiences we can in the time that we have. Life long learning, exploration of the arts, and calculated risks.
Life shouldn’t escape us. We are here for such a brief moment in the context of the macrocosm that we should acquire what experiences we can in the time that we have. Life long learning, exploration of the arts, delving into the humanities, and calculated risks. If we are here, let’s be here to experience, explore, and create.
The Crux of Aging
What captures us like a fly in the web, a bug in amber, is the mundanity of surviving day to day.
Youth is wasted on the young.
I think Loki made responsibility as the ultimate joke. As a child you have none and you are free but you don’t know the value of what you have. Once you have responsibilities it is incredibly hard to have that same sense of freedom. Too many things lash you down, contort your needs to greater needs whether internal, external, familial, business, financial–tugged in so many directions and only a few of them your own. This is why we have a mid-life crisis. Reflection gives rise to unmet desire which makes us go bonkers for a while.
Holy sh*t.. I get it!
There is no life GPS, which is sad. I could certainly use more certainty in my life. We lack it in all facets these days from the world stage to your home and that’s unfortunate. In my own reflective moment I am proud of the man I have become. I have a family of my own I adore. A few businesses that have seen some modicum of successes. Many interests from the culinary to video games, marketing to skydiving, photography to agriculture. Nothing though is in a stable orbit. Business goes up and down and are still too young, too immature (ie volatile.) Interests are joys of my spare time which there is little of and when you add daily stressors your interests taste bland because you can’t let go beyond those issues you face.
For instance, I love to skydive, but it’s hard to get to go fly through the clouds when I feel bound to the earth with a payroll that might be hard to fund, a loan that needs servicing, or a month that just isn’t having ends meet. Can’t have fun in the face of a reality that thwarts that.
Life GPS, please recompute path to stability!
Celebrate When You Can
I vacillate quite frequently from the macro to the micro. Sometimes it causes whiplash but a little Buddhism in your life can go a long way. Today is here, is now, is real. Tomorrow is a fantasy and the past is immaterial. Only today matters.
- Do one thing to make your family happy
- Listen to yourself being you, watch your thoughts, listen to your breathing
- Watch your coworkers or people around you flow through their ecosystems (or maybe fugue states)
- Achieve one thing, big or small right now
When the world is going sideways I try and find the now. We’re human, it doesn’t always work, but David Allen taught me that we are prone to getting thrown off the horse. It’s that we get back on that makes the difference.
I’m 40. I have a long way to go. I have a lot I still want to do and I am nowhere near finished doing it but I’m ready for the challenges of today.