If I didn’t live in a society that has an attitude about age: youth, adulthood, middle-age, old-age, old, ancient ~
If I didn’t live in a world of organizations, regulations, marketing, and healthcare delivery which continually reminds us what age we are, what ought to interest us, what matters to us, what products and services we should want and – more stridently than anything else, how we ought to feel about ourselves, how would I think?
Regardless of where you are on the age-continuum, how would you feel if everybody was telling you how to feel? Or, if nobody was?
I rail against being told what to do, but I don’t do so well in silence either – I need and want a healthy balance; I want quality feedback from interested parties – and I want to give them interested, informed, and thoughtful responses from me. We all want that, don’t we? Someone who cares to tell us what we need to hear, especially when it is hardest?
Maybe someone has studied this, but I’ve not read anything on it – but I doubt I’m the first person to think about this.
We’ve all had those hypothetical conversations about some circumstance; inevitably, someone says, “What would the man from Mars think?” and someone chimes in with, “What would Jesus do?” etc.
Think about it for a moment. You are the man, or the woman, from Mars. Or you are someone from another time in the past, what would you say about your life, about its meaning, about your expectations of the world you live in, and its expectations of you?
I know my thinking on this subject varies depending on means, motive, and opportunity – much like unraveling a mystery.
When things are going well for me financially, my view of the mountaintop feels like a view ‘from top of the mountain,’ I see endless opportunity – I know what I can do, how I can do it, and the obstacles in my path seem tiny like speedbumps in a slow speed zone. Conversely, when things aren’t going well, clouds obscure every mountaintop, and every speedbump feels like a small mountain of its own.
How we measure ‘going well’ varies widely, seems to sway in real terms (more about feelings than facts) from fantastic optimism to horribly trembling fear whether we are considering matters of health, finance, education, romance/relationship at any age or stage of life. We know, intellectually, that these matters are never black and white, OFF or ON, but our brains seem to omit all the shades of gray and variations of white.
Life is joy.
Life is horrid.
Is there an in-between?
Yes, we live between, but we feel one end of the spectrum or the other.
This feeling is not about age, or health, or means, or wealth. This is about how we see the world, unfettered by the world as it sees us – and as we see ourselves. The world may not want us, and we may not want the world the way it is, but we can see what needs work, and we don’t need anyone’s permission to do what we want.
Still here, Mark. Only 50, still your friend, not going anywhere. BTW, thanks for the walk through on real estate property. Just after our conversation, I was given notice of layoff - but not until June. Continuing to slam every penny I can into savings, actively job searching - and applied to go back to school, finish the masters I started 11 years ago. I'll be Dr. B. before I depart ;-) I hope your daughter comes around. Best thing I ever did was to forgive my dad when he told the truth. Happy Wednesday. Putting the shine on silver linings up here, building up muscles squeezing lemons into lemonade .... all the schmaltz rings true, JB, Edmonton, AB
Friendship is hard work, it requires a lot of respect and enormous will to share life. Accepting the person 100% the good trades and the bad ones, sounds simple enough but it also requires timing, honesty (for which you need both a strong friend and a kind friend). Friendship is a fountain of joy when happiness is shared, a support in difficult times, a company in the solitary times. Saludos, AG, Cancun, Mex.