I will be 38. I will be approaching middle-age soon. Before I know it, Jamie and I will be celebrating our 40th birthdays, which is weird...
At 38, given my lack of a post-secondary education and perpensity for distraction, I'm doing okay professionally. Especially when you consider I'm in an institution of higher education, a place were degrees and spending decades focusing on one thing are sort of the norm. Nobody has fired me yet, but there's always tomorrow.
I am married to a fantastic person. She's the best partner I can imagine for myself, and I think that's sort of the goal. And she's cute, too.
My family is largely here in town, or a plane ride away. We get along like few families do.
I've got concentric circles of friends. It's a Venn-Diagram of people online, offline, old and new. I'll take it. I'll buy you a drink, too, if you're in the neighborhood.
“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” — Kurt Vonnegut, “Knowing What’s Nice,” In These Times, 2003
The quote is from a thing I have not read. I saw it put up somewhere a couple of years ago, and it sounds like something one should consider. One should consider it especially if one hasn't got a blog post, their birthday of little-to-no consequence is coming, and they're taking stock of what's become of the life they've got that didn't turn out to be filled with carnivals thrown in their honor or people don't pay for tickets just to see them dance around a little on a stage and sing and talk about that individual's special-ness.
I've got as good a life as one could expect to have here in the first 20% of the 21st Century. Yet, I am still continually displeased. This, I am sure, irritates Jamie to no end. There's always something we can do better, some knob we can turn, some way to get more toast made at the same time in the same toaster oven.
It's often about what's next. Keep doing what you're doing, but what should we be planning for? What's coming down the road? That's strategic thinking, but it doesn't help you enjoy the moment if the whole time you're at the museum you're checking your watch to make sure you don't miss the train to get you back to the hotel. Sometimes you should sit on the bench and stare at the painting or the gorillas* for a while.
I have things I want to do before I'm 40. I need to plan around that. I'd like to see friends in far off places, and maybe Puerto Rico and Yellowstone, but I'm not greedy. I'll take one of those options and a vowel. I want to do less talking about other people's stuff, more consuming of that stuff and creating some of my own.
But things are good. It's good to remember that. Have a cocktail. Enjoy your company. Appreciate them a bit, appreciate what you've got. It all turns on a dime tomorrow, maybe, and if it doesn't, well... I guess you can look back and say "we were doing okay, then, too."
I'll try to enjoy it. I'll try not to mess it up of my own accord, and that's probably the hardest part of the whole equation (no self-immolation, buddy).
Here's to setting the controls far afield from the heart of the sun, and doing one more lap around El Sol.
We'll rap at you later this weekend, maybe.
Enjoy the pre-loaded posts between now and then.
*in this scenario, you are at the zoo, not at the museum
Hey! I wanna go to Puerto Rico! We should talk!
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