Nearly 75 years old. WTAF?
Seventy-fifth birthday in less than two months. Nearly five years writing this particular blog, off and on (mostly off). So? So what's it like being nearly a three-quarters of a century old? What have I learned in that time? What do I want to do next? What do I think about my life? What do I think about the world as it is? Where do I think the world is going? When am I going to stop asking myself such questions?
That last one I can answer. Now.
And now for some other answers.
Q: What's it like being nearly three-quarters of a century old?
Answer: Feels about the same as usual.
In my mind, I'm not 75 (some part of me wants to calculate my exact decimal age, something like 74.88474 years old, but I'm going to resist taking the time to do this perfectly (thank God! says another part of my mind)). I'm not any particular age.
I think that I don't have the energy that I've had at earlier times. I think that's partly due to the body wearing down, partly due to not having taken my Morning Modafinil (fixed), partly due to lack of motivation for what I am doing, and partly (related) to spending too many cycles on unresolvable existential problems. Are those last parts true?
Yes, I think, in part. This is not going to be one of the greatest posts that I've ever written, but (as almost always) the very fact of sitting here, seeing words appear, pleases me. The difference between the way I feel writing this post and writing one that I'm really proud of (say the one about Past Me, Present Me, Future Me) is small, relative to the difference between the way I feel writing this post (I'll call it a Mediocre Post) and writing nothing at all.
So why not just get up in the morning and write today's Mediocre Post. And if it turns into a Pride Inducing Post, so be it. But why not just do that?
The answer, I think, it simple and kind of stupid.
Take the energizing idea of every day taking a moment to be grateful to Past Me, and committing part of the day doing things that will benefit Future Me. I consciously turned that into a regular routine. Then when I had my knee surgery, the routine broke down. And now what? I expect it to start up again? By itself?
I think I should know better than that. But I don't know better. Therefore my thought "I should know better is" in error because all thoughts of the form "reality should be different than it is" are wrong by definition.
So that's a partial answer to the first question: this is what it's like (for me) being nearly three-quarters of a century old. I'm still solving the same old problems. I'm still forgetting my solutions or forgetting an important element of the solution. Then I have to re-invent the old solution or come up with a new one.
Am I making progress? Yes. But slower than it could be.
Q: What have I learned in that time? A: That. Among other things.
Q: What do I want to do next? Well, first of all: thank you Past Me. You've gotten me here. And I appreciate that. And I'm going to find some things that I can do for Future Me. Like finishing this post.
Q: What do I think about my life? A: It's great. Yes, it could be different, but I don't care to make it so. This morning, I was thinking about a different life--a minimal life where I had a small apartment in an urban area. I got up in the morning, went down to my favorite coffee shop and wrote. I walked to a nearby library or bookstore, and read. After a full day, I went home and went to sleep. Occasionally I did laundry. That would be a nice life. But I'd miss things that I love about this life: living with my best friend in this beautiful place. Having kids and grandkids and friends.
There are lives that it would suck to live, but there are so many other lives that would be great to live. Too bad that I can't live them all. But maybe I can. I can imagine doing that. So why not?
Q: What do I think about the world as it is? It's fascinating. It's amazing. It's interesting. It's a vast playground where I can create and appreciate the creation of others.
Q: Where do I think the world is going? A: I don't know. I can imagine things getting incredibly better. I can imagine them getting horribly worse. I think it's fun to speculate. Parts of the world are completely bizarre. I wonder: who could make this shit up? But human imagination and creativity are such that the answer must be: lots of people could. And some have. And that's why it is the way that it is.
A: When am I going to stop asking myself such questions? A: I think now it a good time.