Monday, June 9, 2014

Reflections of an Aging Skeptic

I have RE-Ignited my blog.  Once upon a time my blog was all about complaining in a satirical way about fellow humans and our world in general.  Of course, as some of you fondly remember, there was also the porn poetry.  Then I got political, still mostly complaining, but sometimes offering solutions.  I will be publishing two draft posts that I never published in 2011, they offer some interesting historical if not hysterical perspective.

Meanwhile, the past 18 months have been somewhat trans-formative for me, so that is what I wish to write about now.

I always joked that "turning 50" would be a big event for me, but I never really took that alleged milestone seriously or believed in some sort of late stage mid life crisis or any of the other crap that you hear about aging, baby boomer syndrome, etc... I have, however, spent most of my life making sure that I paid attention to what is going on around me, inside my head and wondering what is going on inside the heads of others. Being introspective has always been a big part of who I am. In addition to introspection, I have always been curious about "the natural world", the "universe" and human behavior. As I have aged, I find myself learning more and more how to live in the present (some would call this mindfulness) and considering sights, sounds, smells, tastes, fears, worries, elation and all sensory and emotional states with an almost detached curiosity and observing them in an empirical way. The result of all of this has been a LIFETIME of learning, observing, tweaking my viewpoints and modifying my behaviors in a VERY purposeful way. Not with any particular end in mind, but rather a general goal or idea of seeking comfort and peace with who I am and how I relate to the Universe as a whole. In the last 12 months, these somewhat mental, subtle and to some people "odd" practices have culminated in a bit of a peaking out for me. Peaking in a good way.

I feel that I have reached something or somewhere in my life and for brief periods of time, I have felt contentment, peace and joy.

Now, before I go on, I can not say that I have had a bad life.  In fact, I often tell people that I laugh out loud thinking of how lucky I have been on a macro scale.  Strangely, this acknowledgement of my good fortune was always an intellectual process, one of reason and comparison and doing the math.  I was usually fed, sheltered and managed to stay out of harm's way.  Yes I have had some physical and mental damage from incidents, accidents and the malfeasance of others, but other than a few tidy physical and emotion scars, I think that I've had it better off than at least 75% of the world, I am still alive and in pretty good health, I have reproduced, raised kids and have strong interpersonal relationships with a small, but excellent group of people. I am loved and am able to love others in return.  So "rationally", I was always confident in saying that I was lucky.

Emotionally, well ..... that's different isn't it?  The old roller coaster ride (at least for me) with a much wider range of emotions than any rational being should have.  You know them all, love, lust, hunger, thirst, anger, hatred, fear, worry, happiness, peace, contentment, depression, sadness, lonliness..... and the worst one of all, self pity.

What has changed or matured or ripened in me these last several months?

I hope to elaborate on my path and my discoveries in future posts, but there are some hints in the physical world that are both events totally outside of my realm of control or where purposeful mindset or physical alterations to my landscape, all of which have occurred within the last year:

I drove a race car 159 miles an hour on a race track
I turned 50
I became a grandfather
I taught myself how to love running again
I lost 50 pounds

I've made new friends, tried new things
I parted ways with old acquaintances, but kept some old habits
I started a new business venture and re-energized an existing one
I forced myself to consciously let go of things (and not because I watched Frozen)

In future posts, I hope to weave these events and others into a thoughtful prose on life from my viewpoint and the path that I found through living, while embracing who I was, am and will be.

Amor Fati - Love your fate !!

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