I recently turned 50. It’s really just one of an average of 27,375 days. But in our society, it’s one of the big milestones. I’m still not sure what to do with the fact that I’m 50? I don’t really feel older, or like I thought I might feel, years ago looking ahead. When I was 20, 50 seemed pretty damn old! LOL Now, it’s just how it is. I actually feel pretty good. I do have some arthritis and some old injuries that remind me that they are still around from time to time. But I’m healthy and active and mostly sane and all that. I do see myself in the mirror from time to time and wonder, “when the hell did that happen?!?!”
I haven’t spent a lot of time being philosophical about the fact that I’m 50. But I’ve spent a little time over the last day or two thinking about some things. I realized that I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. But I don’t really look at it that way anymore. As much as I hate the bumper sticker phrases, life really is a journey and not a destination. So what I am when I grow up can change many times. It can be hard to keep that in mind in the daily grind. As always, work has been nuts! But it still beats looking for a job, right? But I digress…
I also realize that I seem to have many more questions than answers. In fact, I’d say mostly questions. It’s not that I haven’t learned anything along the way, I definitely have. But many things I thought I knew, I realize that I really don’t. And the perspective on the things I have learned tends to shift with time and age and experience. So even what I have learned shifts a bit from time to time. If that makes sense? It’s funny to think back to my 20’s and 30’s. It’s not that I thought I had all the answers, but I thought I had most of the answers. Ha! Not in a haughty way, it’s just what I thought. Then I had kids, I went through some major life shit, and over the last few years, my beliefs in just about everything have drastically changed. Now I’m like, well, fuck. I don’t think I know much of anything. At least not much of anything, in a concrete sense. And I’m getting to be ok with that. I’m talking more about the realm of ideas and philosophies and “spiritual” shit. I’m pretty sure I know about things like gravity and taxes and not to put my hand on a hot burner. Things like that.
On a side note, I’ve been cursing more and more as I get older. Not in a vulgar, Andrew Dice Clay, kind of way. Not that there is anything wrong with that. But just using the words to express feelings. I recently had another blogger encourage me to let more of myself, where I am right now, come out in my writing. So you might see an increase in some curse words. And it’s fun! Sometimes, there are situations that just require you to say, “fuck!” Ok, I’m off track again…
A friend of mine recently invited me to a class that he was heading up at his church. His idea was to stir people to ask questions and discuss things. The main question was, “what if?” So, things like, what if there is no God? Or, what if God is not anything like I think God is? What if God loves everyone equally, no matter what? What if there is no hell? What if there is no heaven? At least, not like I think heaven is? It was very interesting and I think it was a good activity. One of my favorite questions was, what if there is no such thing as universal truth? What if truth is individualized? In my religious days, this would have blown my doors off! LOL I don’t know if I would have even stayed. But now, realizing how little I probably know about the universe, what’s out there, seen and unseen, I don’t get so freaked out by these things. And, if truth (whatever the fuck that is?) is individualized, then what one person believes and what another person believes can both be true. Even if they seem to contradict each other.
Of course you will have folks asking, “what if he thinks it’s ok to hurt someone and does it?” Yes, I get that. To have a working, relatively peaceful society, you do have to have some rules that everyone abides by. They might not agree with them, but they still abide by them. So the idea that you and I both think it’s wrong to physically assault someone, works in favor of a working, peaceful society. But, I’m really talking more about ideas and philosophies and beliefs that would more fit the label of spirituality of some kind. For example, meditation. I have meditated off and on for a while and I can say that there are some positive benefits for me when I’m consistent with my practice. Someone else may meditate for a while and not find anything beneficial. Well, neither of us is wrong. And just because my experience varies from yours, doesn’t mean that I’m right when I say meditation is good for you and you are wrong when you say it’s not. Timber Hawkeye, author of Buddhist Boot Camp, says, “If someone tells me that the sky is green I simply say “okay”. I don’t need to agree with them, and I certainly don’t need to prove them wrong or to show them “proof” that I am right… I simply go on with my life with this newfound understanding that to some people the sky looks green.”
It seems like I also heard someone say something like, just because someone says the sky is green, doesn’t make it any less blue when I look at it. I don’t know if it’s because of the competitive nature of our culture (or maybe something in human nature) that makes us feel like we have to prove we are right, and someone else is wrong? Hey look, yet another question that I don’t know that answer to, at least not at this moment. And, like I said, I’m getting more and more ok with that. I kind of think the more ok I am with not having to have an answer, the more easily some kind of answer will come to me in time. We’ll see. 🙂