So I’m back in the tent. Why? It seems like the place to be. Why does it seem like the place to be? I’m not actually sure. I came out here with a keyboard and a tablet and the vague idea of typing… something.
I have these days a weird combined energy and apathy. When I’m not doing anything, I feel the tremendous impulse to be productive. Then, when I gather myself and my tools with the vague idea that it’s time to actually act, I find myself sitting next to them with no real idea of what I’m going to actually produce.
I suppose this comes from having lived a life in which I’ve almost always had projects or goals going on, yet at the moment having nothing of the sort to actually occupy my time. I’m not used to it.
Just as importantly, for the first time ever it isn’t entirely clear just what my project or goals ought to be. Life has taken a strange and unexpected turn, and at the same time, many of the goals that I had as a young person have now been fulfilled. I’ve travelled. I’ve completed a Ph.D. I’ve written books. I got married. I had kids.
What is the thing that I want to work on for the next stage of life? I suppose I have the vague idea that it’s time to work on retirement planning and build a “good life” from all of this, whatever that means, but in fact I’m not entirely sure that those things are, in fact, the things.
I feel as though, just now, I want more.
Plus, most of these things are not of the “push hard” variety of aims, but are rather of the “slow and steady and patience” variety of aims. I’m not particularly good at that and never have been, and I’m not entirely sure that at this stage in my life I want to learn.
I like to be pressing ahead on something. I like to be building something, something that requires thinking and systematizing and learning.
I don’t know. I’d like to have better goals right now but in fact I may be in need of a mentor to help me to figure out how this all works. Call it the “second half of life blues” in which I try to come to terms with having finished all of the “first half of life” stuff that your elders hold over your head as implicit threats when you’re young to get you to do your homework.
I did my homework. I avoided all (well, most) of the pitfalls and earned my dues. Now what?