I get into these contemplative moods from time to time. And I find myself doing it more often lately.
I’m pretty sure its a continuation of my midlife crisis. Although, I refuse to see it as a crisis. I believe its more of a stage or a phase. I define a crisis as when you’re panicking because of the situation you find yourself in. To be more direct to the point, when you realize your life is half over and your not too happy with what you’ve done with it so far and you start to wheeze and get panic attacks because you suddenly realize you’re running out of time…. THAT’S A CRISIS.
However I view my situation as more of a stage in life. But I did wake up one morning realizing that at 45, I’m half way… I’ve lived approximately half my life span. Now don’t get me wrong. I count my lucky starts that I’m still in relatively good health. So there’s nothing going on in that arena that may be contributing to my greater appreciation of my mortality. But given my family genetics, I do doubt I’ll see 90. I may not be sick, but I am realistic after all. But faced with this realization, my next thought was, “what do I do now?”, “What can I do now?” I’m on the last half of my journey through this road trip of life. What can I do to make the most of the time I have left? All these thoughts started racing through my head.
I had recently stumbled upon some youtube videos of people who apparently call themselves “Vloggers”. People documenting their lives in video format, filming everything from their mundane trips to their local grocery stores to the more exciting and out of this world travel experiences. I started watching more of these and I thought to myself… “That’s cool! But I’ll never do that”. I am, for the most part, a private person and the thought of documenting just about every aspect of my life was not something that appealed to me. It was too out there for my taste.
But one thing I did realize is I wish I had a more formalized way of documenting my last few years than the occasional flurry of pictures that I would take during significant and memorable events in my life, and my family’s life. Only to store it away in the digital cloud and backed up in hard drives. It’s so impersonal. It’s so inaccessible. And ultimately, you rarely see them again.
The few times I do decide to click on dropbox to look at the pictures, I find that their just images…. I gaze at them almost devoid of emotions because of the lack of narrative of what else was happening during that particular time in history. What was I feeling? who was I with? What where certain conversations that may have been uttered that would have made the event more memorable? I will never be able to remember such minute details.
I look at the pictures of my daughters when they were just born and although I’m aware that these were monumental events in my life, just looking at the pictures seemed inadequate to evoke even a small glimmer of the emotions that were present at the time. So that’s when I realized, I should blog. It was an “Aha” moment for me because it worked on so many levels. First and foremost, I realized it gave me the opportunity to directly solve the inadequacies I just outlined earlier. Now when I look back at the pictures, It will not only be a visual reminder of the special occasions to come but a mental, emotional reminder as well. And I just know it will be a more vivid experience.
Blogging will also allow me to write… I have always known that writing was therapeutic for me. I would do it in small notepad versions over the years but never really committed to it. Writing down my thoughts and views on different things and having the opportunity to share it with people was something I long wanted to do.
It would be great to be able to come back to these postings 20 years from now and read through my thoughts and views on life events to come, or just comment on issues that I just wanted to opine on that day and get a glimpse of what a younger version of myself was like. And I just think it would be a blast to have my kids, grandkids or even great grandkids stumble upon this blog page after I’m gone and read through my postings. It would be like speaking to them long after I’m gone, still sharing who I was, how I saw things, my views and opinions on current events at the time. In the end, isn’t that what most of us hope to accomplish anyways? To be remembered, to leave a legacy and to live on because of it.
So it is a stage. And a stage I’m about to leave. Because now I know how to better live the last half of my life. And surprisingly enough, its not to zip line across the jungles of the Amazon, or to buy a sports car and drive recklessly around town..
It’s to continue to live my life as I always have, steeped in a lot of love for family and friends. I need to continue to be the best husband, father, friend, colleague and all around human being, I can be. I need to intentionally be open to greater opportunities and to put myself even more out there to experience new things. Continue to get out of my comfort zone, and to fully experience the life events still to come my way. But this time, really document it in greater detail so I can hold on to the memories even tighter. And have something to look back on.
Ehh… maybe the sports car isn’t such a bad idea……