Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011 to 2012

Another year is about to pass under the wheel and, as is the custom, it's time to reflect on what happened over the past year. A lot of people died--people close to me as well as public figures. The shocking death of a friend at age 54 and the death of my father-in-law, a much admired man of 84, who was still working at his print shop. When death comes to those close to us, we can't help but reflect upon what we are doing with our own lives and compare them to those that have passed. Christopher Hitchens, a writer I enjoyed very much, died at age 62. Death. Death is what waits for all of us, which is bad enough, but on top of that we don't know how much longer we have. That is one of the conditions of life: we are here for reasons that remain a mystery and then we return to the place from which we came. We are here a short time and we squander so much of that time thinking of yesterday or dreaming about tomorrow not spending enough time in the moment. Balance, that is what needs to be the focus. But what about passion? There has to be some passion in life, some passion that drives to a purpose, that fills our hearts with desire for more time, more time to finish something that has been started. What is my passion? Where is my passion?

Years ago I painted and it was something that seemed to click in me, but then I stopped because I started a few things I didn't have the skills to complete: a self-portrait and a scene from my living room. Funny. Those are the things that stopped my painting. That's me all over. If there is a challenge I just say fuck it. I need to change that "fuck it" into "do it." Who has ever gotten anywhere in life by saying "fuck it" when things got difficult? When I tried to get work at Microsoft I went through nearly 50 seperate interviews and I never gave up until I succeeded. I need to pring that same drive to something else. How about bringing it to the actual work I am now doing for Microsoft? Yes, there is that, but I need to have something outside of work that excites me, that makes me feel I am doing something meaningful even if that thing is just a painting, a poem, a short story. My life is flashing before my eyes and I haven't done anything. So much waste. So much doing nothing. What do I want to do with the, if I am extremely lucky, remaining 20 productive years of my life. I am 49 and the next 20 years will put me at 69! If I am lucky I will be reasonably sharp and able to focus during those 20 years, but if I something happens, some health issue, then those 20 years could be a nightmare. I have 20 years left and let's face it they are the 20 years at the end of my life. What the hell did I do with the time from 22 to 42? Those should have been the best years of my life, but thinking back I feel I wasted them. I need a plan to get something meaningful done over the next 20 years. I need to earn money so I can have the leisure to enjoy life and develpe some project, and then I need the energy to dedicate to something. What do I want to do with my remaining years?