I had my 47th birthday this past Sunday, and, as ever, the noting of another year past highlights the question: what did you get done? What have you accomplished? How did you use this year to benefit yourself, your family, your world?
I haven’t been comfortable with that question for a long time, now. Not that I spent these successive years to be totally bereft of any wisdom about the world or myself… indeed, there are times I’m almost convinced my knowledge and inclination is leading me towards counseling others on exactly this topic… yet still I am left with the unavoidable conclusion that the true answer to all of those questions is “Not nearly enough.”
I started this website in September of 2003, with the intention of writing about personal change… documenting my own and hopefully mapping the way for others. Certainly, there has been change along that way, and if need be, I could find a reasonable enough list of things that have changed for the better. But one of the changes… actually, several of the changes along the way… have been of the completely-ripping-up-the-road-and-starting-over variety. Most recently, this happened just a few months ago, and there is certainly nothing here now that is of any help to anyone looking to effect their own life change. And a deeper problem is how little of even the positive changes I can point to and say: I wanted that, I planned that, I made that happen.
Things changed. I can’t honestly say I changed anything.
Obviously, that’s got to be the first thing I change.
As I dig through that accumulated wisdom I referred to a few paragraphs ago, it’s clear that I need to change, as a starting point, two particular areas.
The first is my weight. I spent most of my life as a skinny guy, and then several years as a normal guy (which, in America over the last couple of decades, still qualified me as pretty skinny, compared to those around me)… and the last year or two as a fat guy. And still, at 6’4″ and 250 lbs, I’m not outrageously obese when I walk around out in public. But I can’t do things I should still be able to because of the weight, I believe my health is suffering because of my weight… and to be perfectly honest it kind of makes me hate myself when I’m confronted with my own weight. So that’s one thing.
The second thing turns out to be the first thing, in its way, as well. You don’t have to look very far to see a revolution going on… see people turning their backs on traditional ideas of jobs, careers, and employment, and making their living by living their lives. Confucius said that if you find a job you love you’ll never have to work a day in your life, and that’s probably overstating things somewhat, but the kernel of truth is there. I need to find my passion, follow my bliss… I need to figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
So that’s what I want to change. So let’s watch for some changes.