on being 39

Having just read the post below in it's entirety, I realize it is likely one of the more stream-of-consciousness posts I've ever written. I was tempted to delete it for it's incoherence, but I decided not to, because I think months down the road, perhaps I'll understand it...and if I understand it, then that's good enough for me.

A few weeks back, I turned 39. This had little to no effect on me at the time, although in the last few days, I've been thinking about what I want to feel at 40. It was a teaching my Mark Driscoll that got me thinking this route.

I like Driscoll. I don't agree with everything he says, and some things I agree with but would say differently, but given the chance to have a latte with Driscoll, Malcolm Gladwell or John Quincy Adams, I'd have to think long and hard to make the choice because I find them all so fascinating. I think I'd like to talk to all three at once. Driscoll on the left, John Q on the right, and of course, Malcolm in the middle.

Anyway, back to the teaching by Driscoll and the impending arrival of my 40th birthday. In the talk, he suggestings picking what you want to be doing at a future date and back-engineering the accomplishment...in other words, "On Sept 1, 2007, I want to ______" and then figure out what you should be doing now to get there.

Of course, this is not brain surgery. Driscoll is not the first to suggest it, nor will he be the last. He's just the one who got me thinking. Understand, I like my life. I am very happy with my now. But if my now is my then, then that means this is that and this is not all that great.

I started jotting dreams in my journal recently. Not the eyes closed type of dreams. The spirit open type...the blow the lid off, what if, no caveat sort of dreams that my cynic heart finds it's way to once in a blue moon. I have even been brave enough to speak of them a little. In a joking way, the way you want to speak of things if you want to be able to back off and insist you were kidding.

But I am not kidding.

I mean some of this stuff. Deep inside, I mean it. I'm life and death serious on the inside. I'm moving toward saying it without the caveats.

I stuck a sticker on my moleskine journal this morning. That makes three. No biggie to most of you, but this is the first journal I've stuck stuff on - the first several journals remained funeral-home black on the outside, with all the color and text and dreams on the outside.

I think that subconsciously, the stickers on the outside of this one signify something. Maybe it's time the creativity moved to the covers instead of the inner pages of my heart.


Kari said...

You're making sense to me, which isn't saying much. At 40 may you be a creatively covered moleskin...Let the reader understand.

Kelsey Bohlender said...

The cool thing is that if some of that stuff doesn't happen at 40 or 50 or 100 then you have the whole millennium and beyond.

shawn Blanc said...

What was the 3rd sticker? I noticed one missing off my laptop today... hmmm.

Stuart Taylor said...

As a 38-year old, I am glad I have one more year than you to move toward my "On my 40th birthday I want to____"

The reason is that I seem to have forgotten how to dream.

I didn't even realize that until I read your post and your description of 'jotting dreams' in your journal sounded familiar. It was with sadness that I realized "I used to be able to do that; but now I don't even know where to start."

So I'm going to start.

Thank you for the spark.

The pressure of life seems to have the sole goal of taking my mind off of the very things for which I am enduring the pressure in the first place!

It is a fiendishly clever ploy.

It is like going to a movie that you've wanted to see, but the only seat available is front-row center.
Sure, you are watching the movie you wanted to see, but you are positioned so that you cannot enjoy it because your perspective is wrong (this literally happened to me once - I was unable to enjoy seeing a movie I had been waiting six months to see).

Thanks for doing this blog, it is always at least mildly entertaining and occasionally profound.