The More of Life

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Okay, I’m getting older, the hair is thinning, the kids are moving on and… there’s no crisis.  I’m not hankering for a Harley Davidson or conspiring to trade my spousal unit for a newer model.   “Midlife crisis,” is a term which I don’t spend time considering in depth, but I recognize that the time is right.   Still, as such things go, I’ve fallen short of a sudden bent on 1) recapturing my youth or 2) living life in excess.

That said, there is certainly some contemplation of where I am and what I want in my remaining years…  I came across the following quote recently, and having reflected on it periodically, I find it to be a truth – not the type of life abiding truth that encompasses life’s meaning, purpose and destiny, but a truth.

     “The less of routine, the more of life.”

     — Amos Bronson Alcott

Going to school for years, going to work for even more years – those are the foundations of routine around which life revolves, further occupied by chores and obligations. I’ve been open to my managers over the years; I work to be able to afford the things that I want to do.  Regardless of how much I like my job, I wouldn’t do it for free.  I know there’s some percentage of people who love their occupation, but it’s a small minority. 

In college I was fairly timid at trying new things, as a young married adult I settled into the routine of work then TV then sleep then repeat – relatively contained by the budget.  It’s only these last few years when I’ve taken an interest in “doing things,” things that are not the norm, or at least were not the norm for me.  Rafting, the USMC Mud Run, The High Museum of Art, concerts… 

And there’s the beginning of it really.  I’ve always enjoyed live music, but from the suburbs, going downtown is a huge intrusion into the routine.  Is it worth going to a concert when it’s going to take 2 hours of driving there and back?   IMG_2199[1]Plus the cost of the ticket, and fees, and parking, and an obligatory meal out?  The reasons not to go pile against.   Whether concerts or anything else, the routine formed a mental barrier against the non-routine – “It’s so much trouble…”  I remember telling a co-worker who was in a habit of going to shows that I really needed to go downtown more often.  I attended 1-2 a year.  With an intent that agrees with the quote, it’s been 10 or more since. 

I’ve debated carrying on with this blog.  I’m thankful for the followers I have and the friends who keep up with it.  But like 99.9% of blogs, it’s not a forum that prompts much feedback.  I periodically remind myself that my audience really isn’t any of you.   It’s for me.  The blog is an intentional outworking of a decision I made to be more aware of what I’m doing and what I’m thinking, in short more appreciative, because the routine doesn’t deter reflective thought, but it doesn’t reward it either. 

By writing, I experience whatever it is I’m doing or thinking more fully, and a byproduct is that it awakens a desire to do new things, whether it’s to try a new burger joint, go to an art show, think about “news” and test whether it really touches my  life, etc.   In short, the blog has developed (or more honestly, is developing) an attitude of saying “yes” instead of the routine laden, subconscious “no.”  As such, this blog has become more than a catalog of amusements.

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