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Verbiage: Ding! I just hit 33.

Chacham (981) writes | about 8 years ago

User Journal 17

So, i'm thirty-three today. It seems like more of a novelty than anything else, perhaps a little excitement in wondering what people bought for me. It's something i was trained in for many years as a child but ultimately, when i get presents i do enjoy them, but i also feel weird. A freebie. Who gives freebies in a world like this? The paradox affects much of life, and a choice is to be made. I stand on the wall fearing falling to either side, not because the fall might hurt, but of the conse

So, i'm thirty-three today. It seems like more of a novelty than anything else, perhaps a little excitement in wondering what people bought for me. It's something i was trained in for many years as a child but ultimately, when i get presents i do enjoy them, but i also feel weird. A freebie. Who gives freebies in a world like this? The paradox affects much of life, and a choice is to be made. I stand on the wall fearing falling to either side, not because the fall might hurt, but of the consequences of not having the other side. Or perhaps, not having enough reason to support one way or the other.

King David said it long ago that man's life is seventy years. Mid-life is considered by many to be thirty-five. What is mid-life? That time of the "mid-life crises". When we are faced with the challenge of our oppsoites and we must accept it or run away. When death becomes a reality or a nightmare. When the life-cycle must be accepted or avoided.

It doesn't happen all at once, The feelings of despair, of missed opportunity, of being gone, of wondering one's accomplishments or the meaning of life, wanting to commit suicide, wanting to live forever. All these thoughts, complete with feelings and emotions takes a few years to develop. At thirty-three i know i've started this dark journey and i don't like it at all. But the nightmare has just begun.

At adolescence one's ego is so strong, that all thoughts are personal. If the feeling or logic expressed in a statement is proven incorrect, the person's ego takes a hit. All teenagers knows they could run the world better than anyone else. All teenagers wonder why noone else has their depth of understanding and feeling. All cringe thinking how everyone else is so self-centered. Why anyone holds on to the knowledge that defines them, if all knowledge should be objective and free. There are no individuals, just him and the world. Thank G-d we have our twenties.

At thirty it happens again. It's not a result of the ego developing one's character. According to Jung (as explained by Jacobi, the meshumedes) it's the ego moving into the third function and facing one's anima (or animus). Being directly opposed to the two functions developed thus far, they are tread carefully. And the first time someone really uses the third function and it disagrees with the outcome of the second, it's erstwhile authority is challenged, and the person must accept his different parts. Who cares about the changing world around us, when such a terrific battle ensues inside?

Many people, however, do not accept. Like a Nazi without a gun they cower away in fear and run to their masters. They supress their full self and relive adolescence. Life for them is a life of fear, and they must keep running lest they catch up with themselves. Little do they know that it is their very own shadow that attacks them. There is nowhere to run; they cannot lose aggro.

Acceptance is the only way. It's darkness gets us to the door, and when opened we shall be thankful for the room it brings. But before then, acceptance seems to be the wimpy way out. Can people win by putting down their guns? Are the French really onto something?

Acceptance is mostly hard because it defies that which came before. To accept something means one did not accept it until now. And, barring ignorance, it was an action taken before based on a decision. Our decision defines who we are, or at least the paths we take. It's a primal force in defining our uniqueness. To now accept, to say it was incorrect, is to challenge one's very being. To start each day as a new person.

Plenty of people will say this is being open-minded. While i begin to realize that is what it is, my feeling tells me the open-minded ones take it too far. Perhaps because they have no convictions. Like the difference between an Atheist and an Agnostic. The Agnostic may go either way, depending on the (lack of) evidence presented. Atheists, however, know clearly there is no deity. Perhaps a better term, then, is maturity. Accepting the situation and responding accordingly.

Someone recently challenged me on my convictions. In summary, according to my version of the events, she asked how could i believe in something so ardently, yet keep myself open to alternatives. Was i not fooling myself, or even worse, being a moderate? I responded (and response is important to me, for it makes me put thoughts into words, which may well be the first time the thoughts take true form), that i have to believe. I must try my best and believe in what i find. To believe i do know all, and to be able to respond to any situation. Yet, when shown otherwise, to concede and accept the facts. Even to revel in it. So, it is sort of a contradiction, to go on believe that i am correct, but realizing i just may not be. Where does the line of personality stop? When does objectiveness overrule subjectiveness? Or perhaps, just maybe, they exist simultaneously, with the appropriate one being used for the situation? Hmm.. i think i need some time before something like that comes clear.

Being thirty does have a distinct advantage over being a teenager. The thirty-something has the experience of once being a teenager. So now he takes a more subtle approach, though revisiting the same issues that the world is shallow and wrong, and only i am correct. Only i have depth, only i truly understand.

However, in adolescence the fight is without. It is against the world; I must make them accept me. And maybe this point defines it all. In the thirties, the fight is within; I must make myself accept the world.

Ah, to be forty, to be over the hill. Will it be then that i can finally enjoy life?

17 comments

The time to enjoy life... (1)

johndiii (229824) | about 8 years ago | (#15006761)

...is now. Just choose to be happy. It does not happen by changing the circumstances of your life, unless that is the only way that you can give yourself permission to be happy. I believe that changing one's attitude actually gives one more power to change one's circumstances. But that is just my personal experience.

Re:The time to enjoy life... (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15012658)

Just choose to be happy

I didn't mean to imply a life of melancholy. I meant the statement within context of the thoughts expressed.

Realizing that it is a choice, however, is important.

I thank you for your thoughts.

Happiness (1)

superyooser (100462) | about 8 years ago | (#15098051)

Chacham, I can identify with some of your mid-life feelings. (Allow me to blog a little.) It's the point where you look back on the life you've lived and ask yourself if you like the person you've become. About half of your life's history is etched in stone. The question is no longer "What am I going to do with my life?", but "What have I done with my life?". Along the line of the Rush song: even if you chose not to decide, you still made choices. Circumstances may have made them for you. With relief, you realize that there's enough time left to "pull up your average" with the "scores" of the latter semester of your life if you didn't do so well in the first one. (But don't overlook the important lessons learned and wisdom, experience, and maturity gained during lackluster years that may have provided the preparation you needed to do something great in this latter part your life.) All of a sudden, there's this urgency. But you can make a major change in direction if things aren't going as you had envisioned and hoped. Instead of a mid-life "crisis," it should be a period of reorienting, recalibrating, and recommitting yourself to the ideals you believe are most important.

It's also the time when you wonder when, if ever, you'll be content or fulfill the things you thought you would sometime do. The late Larry Burkett [larryburkett.org] said, "Contentment is not being satisfied with where you are. Contentment is knowing God's plan for your life and having the conviction to live that plan." That's a guiding principle I try to stay focused on.

The replies here about happiness make me want to mention a book called Happiness, which I read out of from time to time. It contains 93 short lessons/anecdotes on happiness, by (Orthodox) Rabbi Zelig Pliskin. (His book Kindness is wonderful, too.) The book is almost more psychological than spiritual. Pliskin's overall message is that unhappiness is based on deception and foolish thinking and that we should use our brains to reclaim our God-given natural state of happiness. Being happy is the sensible thing to do. And since we are more inclined to do acts of kindness when we are happy, it could be concluded that we have a moral obligation to be happy. (I'm not sure if that last sentence is stated in Kindness or if it's something I put together in my mind.)

Anyway, I had heard that Rabbi Pliskin's books were popular in Israel, so, when I bought my Happiness book, I ordered a few more copies to give away to people when the Spirit moved me. I've given one to my mom, one to a friend before he moved away, and one to a female "close acquaintance."

Chacham, I would love to give you one of my copies. I think you would enjoy it a lot. The way it's written is well-suited to you. I'll send you an email to your Gmail account, and you can respond with your postal address if you'll accept my offer. :-)

Happy Birthday (1)

Neop2Lemus (683727) | about 8 years ago | (#15006998)

I don't know what to believe. I'm kinda a moderate by default. As far as I'm concerned those questions are secondary to making money and having fun. They have to be because there are no solid answers.

Anyways, happy birthday, hope this year is better than the last and keep on blogging.

Re:Happy Birthday (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15012679)

As far as I'm concerned those questions are secondary to making money and having fun.

You're in your twenties, right? :)

They have to be because there are no solid answers.

Perhaps the answer is just accepting the question?

Anyways, happy birthday, hope this year is better than the last and keep on blogging.

Thanx.

I'll try to post more. Either keep my workload down, or have WoW crash a bit more often. :P

Happy Birthday! (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 8 years ago | (#15007024)

First and foremost I hope you have a great day and I hope you listen to Johndiii's thoughts. Happiness is wherever you find it. I would like to offer a thought or two on something that you wrote,

However, in adolescence the fight is without. It is against the world; I must make them accept me. And maybe this point defines it all. In the thirties, the fight is within; I must make myself accept the world.

There is a great deal of truth to this. I had the privilege of reading one of my co-workers docotral thesis, and in it was a concept which I had felt but never really defined. Internal vs External control. Internals feel that they, and only they are responsible for their actions. Externals feel like the world is controlling them, that it is someone else's fault.

Teenagers, by and large, fall into the External category. The reason they didn't get the part time job isn't because they don't have any experience, its because the owner hates kids. That kind of thought process. As people mature they tend to drift over to the Internal side. I didn't get the job because I wasn't qualified. That type of thinking.

Once you see the two camps and the lineage between its pretty amazing how much easier some people are to udnerstand. I understand my older stepson better and some co-workers as well.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and have a great day!

Re:Happy Birthday! (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15012743)

There is a great deal of truth to this.

Wow. Confirmed? I was just thinking about it yesterday, and i've been asking people what they thought. And you agreed. That's means a lot actually.

How big is the thesis? Would i be able to get a copy? I'm not even sure how interested i am, but i'm less interested in ignoring it. :)

I would split externals and internals into (would you have guessed?) liberals and conservatives. And it does follow suit, that most teenagers are liberals, perhaps until they live on their own with financial responsibilities.

Once you see the two camps and the lineage between its pretty amazing how much easier some people are to udnerstand.

MBTI and Kerisey's four types help in this area tremendously as well.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts

You're welcome. The writing itself is soothing. That people read it, well, is an added bonus.

and have a great day!

A certain fictional Indian storeshop owner comes to mind.

If it helps ... (1)

rholliday (754515) | about 8 years ago | (#15007257)

If you feel weird about presents being a "freebie," think about it like this: a birthday present is the initial offering in an implied barter contract. When the giver's birth anniversary celebration rolls around, they will (on some level) expect to be compensated in turn.

But I like to think people give presents because they're nice. ;)

Happy birthday. Very deep thoughts on the life span issue. I'll be 25 within a month, and I'm starting to feel sort of old. However, I'm the youngest person at my job, so hearing everyone talk about wives, kids grand(!!)kids, et al really mellows me out. I mean, I'm still basically a college kid playing video games. I think that's what I'll always be, even after "middle age."

Re:If it helps ... (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15013431)

a birthday present is the initial offering in an implied barter contract. When the giver's birth anniversary celebration rolls around, they will (on some level) expect to be compensated in turn.

Ha! I've used that line of thinking against others, but never quite for myself. :)

Happy Birthday (1)

Degrees (220395) | about 8 years ago | (#15008310)

I don't know about the 40's being better - I'm 45 and see how things are getting worse (this bag of bones is getting creaky - and it won't get better.)

As I recall, my thirties were my best time: I had the experience to be good at what I did, and the confidence to throw myself at any challenge with a smile. And I still made a good first impression, what with being young and shiny.

May this year be your best so far. :-)

Re:Happy Birthday (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15013462)

I don't know about the 40's being better - I'm 45 and see how things are getting worse (this bag of bones is getting creaky - and it won't get better.)

But, did you go through the darkness? Are you in the light? Mere physical ailments seem to pale to this. Of course, i'm just saying that now...

As I recall, my thirties were my best time: I had the experience to be good at what I did, and the confidence to throw myself at any challenge with a smile. And I still made a good first impression, what with being young and shiny.

True, true.

May this year be your best so far. :-)

Thanx man.

Happy-Happy (1)

Timex (11710) | about 8 years ago | (#15019179)

Happy (belated) Birthday!

I'm 39 this coming July. I don't consider myself anywhere close to "over the hill", mostly because as I get older, I realize that politicians (in general) have been piling it ever higher. I don't expect to ever be old enough to "retire", unless I win the lottery. Since I don't play the lottery[1], you can imagine what I'm thinking[2].

[1] The Lottery is, after all, a tax on people that are bad at math.

[2] If you imagined something like "The last thing to go through his mind is his keyboard, 'cause that's what his head will hit when he keels-over.", you're pretty close. :)

Re:Happy-Happy (1)

Chacham (981) | about 8 years ago | (#15019909)

:)

The Lottery is, after all, a tax on people that are bad at math.

Or the initiation of a pleasant dream.
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