Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Then To Live?

Number of states I've visited/driven through: 35 out of 50

Number of states I've lived in: 2 (Iowa and Minnesota)

Number of states I'm about to live in: 1 (Michigan)

This is it.  This is my last full day as a resident of the State of Iowa for awhile.  And while that is not terribly earth-shaking news, this is my last day in my house and hometown, a place where I know people, I know where I stand.  I know my messes and I know my routines.

And now I'm off to a place where I don't know.  Anything.  And that is little daunting.

So, I channel my inner Socrates...All I really know is that I know nothing.  I repeat as needed.

See, life really is too short; take a look at this breakdown...

Years 0-18 don't really count - we're too busy pooping out diapers, playing on the playground, and "finding our identity" (read: giving our parents apoplexy) to really seize the day, you know?  As teenagers, we *think* we're taking risks, but most of us are doing it with the safety net of our parents' love and support beneath us.

Years 18-25 - These are what I call the Gray Years.  It's mostly a period of Limbo.  Either we are doing the Nicholas Sparks thing and finding a soulmate, or we're getting our careers, or we're having kids, or all three.  It's still a time of discovery...of trial and error...of figuring things out.  We don't know much yet.

Years 25-60 - This is the Golden Era.  The Age of Getting Cool Stuff Done.  We're making money, establishing life credibility, and can go about the task of thinking about the big questions...What makes me happy?  How can I get more out of this life?  How, then, should we live?  Midlife crisis happens in this timeframe, as do other major life decisions, like moving overseas, going back to school, totally changing careers, etc.  We just start getting a feel for what we're meant to do...and how we're supposed to do it.

Years 60-Death - These years are a DNA crapshoot.  Family history of heart disease or breast cancer or longevity?  It's the simpler, yet more complicated things that take center stage here.  Diet and exercise seem to matter much, much, much more than they did before.  Medications that regulate now become part of the daily routine of living (the beginning of dependence on something other than yourself).  Genetic factors we never thought much about before all of a sudden are very important.  And suddenly, there's a realization that time is running out...and more important, have I done anything meaningful?  Have I made anything?  Will I have no regrets when I leave this world?

*Sigh*  Are we all thoroughly depressed now?  Sorry about that.  I guess I'm's not too late for me, anyway.  I'm going to go, search, seek, and find out what I can.  For me, I guess the unknowns are worth it.

Keep reading here, oh you faithful one reader, as I chronicle my journey (both physical and spiritual).

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