My 1/3 Life Awakening

6 12 2012

I was talking to a friend last weekend and referenced “when I look back at my life 60 years from now…”.  This comment put me at age 87, which God willing I will reach with health and happiness.  However, the conversation made me realize that – assuming a long life – I am almost at my one third mark.

Rather than taking on a “mid-life crisis” twenty years hence, I would rather explore a “1/3 life awakening” where I take stock of what I’ve done with my life and what I still wish to do.  I wrote down a long list of skills, behaviors and so forth that I have amassed over the past 27 years and have found to be notable.  (I will spare you the list.)  And what I found striking is that I have had a tremendous amount of life experiences, friendships, skills, languages, volunteer opportunities, projects and adventures (an “early retirement” to be sure) – but, in my opinion, few serious contributions that leave the world as a whole a better place.

Practicing My New Photoshop Skills - I Have Certainly Enjoyed My "Early Retirement"

Practicing My New Photoshop Skills… I Have Certainly Enjoyed “Mini-Retirement”

I will give myself the coming year to transition, to enjoy the co-op, to sing with my choir, to launch Jewrotica, to relish in the great outdoors and to continue being a loyal friend to those in my life.  But by next fall and by my 1/3 mark, I hope to start focusing on bigger contributions to society – to food issues, to social justice matters – and also to finding a worthy partner and starting a family.

I would like to promise myself:

  • Never to stop learning or saying yes to new experiences
  • Never to get so caught up in work that a week’s worth of beautiful days go by without being enjoyed
  • To prioritize using my skills to help others and make this world a better place
  • To prioritize family, raising wonderful children and loving my partner
  • To keep life simple and stress-free
  • For this year not to be the last adventure of my life

What do you promise yourself?

posted by ayo

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6 responses

6 12 2012
Yoda

Nice post, nice list. A little aspirational perhaps (example – putting “raising children” next to staying “stress-free”… good luck!) but better to aim high than low.
As for self-promises, I try to be cognizant of the fact that things in my life will not always be as good as I have them now, and to appreciate what I have before it’s gone.

6 12 2012
ayo

That’s a good one. I like it.

Re: raising children and stress-free, you’re probably right. But I’m still hoping that through saving and modest living, both my spouse and I will not have to work when the kids are young so that more time is freed up to co-parent and allow each of us side projects and hobbies. We’ll see…

Re: “nice post”, it was written a week and a half ago. Had it been written today, it probably would have been titled “On Being Burned and Trusting No One”. 😛 xo

6 12 2012
Cyndi

Hi Ayo! I wanted to comment today. I hope you are taking into account, the ripple effect,when you ponder how you’ve changed the world.

“Touch me…
and I shall touch another.
And if any others feel my touch
It was your touch that took me to eternity
And if that touch is strong enough
we will never be the same, ever again.
Whether we walk together, or apart.”

~Author Unknown

6 12 2012
ayo

Cyndi,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, ripple effect is important. In that sense, I suppose I have contributed a lot on a micro individual level. I just feel like I can and should be doing more on a big-picture level.

But a beautiful reminder. Thank you.

7 12 2012
Josh

Ayo, I know this is looking down the line, but when you have kids and a family, do you want to send them to jewish day school and/or live in a “jewish” area? Tuition is very pricey and most jewish areas are near large cities, where it can be tough to live modestly on even a decent salary. Maybe you found some nice places in your travels these last few years?

7 12 2012
ayo

Good question. Yes, I’ve found smaller, warm and more affordable Jewish communities on my travels. Though I will probably choose a particular community to live in and plant roots, I am hoping that my future partner will still be adventurous enough to travel with children and live unconventionally – that might include living in Israel for a time (where Jewish education is free), home schooling, unschooling, etc.

But that’s way the heck in the future, so we’ll see!

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