For me, there are fewer days ahead than behind. It’s a little weird to think about. What does that mean? What can be done about it? What might change as a result of this reality? Big questions, with few clear answers.
For starters, this does not represent some sort of crisis. It just is the way things are. I am not necessarily depressed about it or preoccupied with it, necessarily, either. The thought that I’m well along on the downward slope of life simply causes me to take stock, to think more clearly about what is left and what I would like the rest of my life to look like.
In some ways, it is liberating, freeing. I want to focus on what really matters now, and I have a much better sense at my age about what really matters than I did 10-20 years ago. Career — doesn’t matter. Money — doesn’t matter. Looks, position, house, whatever — doesn’t matter. I’m never going to be wealthy or fabulously successful, however the world defines success. I’m never going to have an incredible house and car and whatever else we think we need to have to be happy.
So then, what does matter? My family and my relationships — they are what matter most. This includes my faith walk with God, of course. It matters to live what I believe, regardless of whether that is popular. It matters to have more moments of joy and a settled peace and trust in the Lord. It matters to define my level of satisfaction less by things or possessions and more through experiences and memories.
Here then are some hopes for the rest of my days:
- To abide fully in the love of God
- To love others as much as I possibly can and to rest in the love of others
- I especially want my wife and children and extended family to be in no doubt about my love for them as shown by investing my time and attention in them and supporting them in whatever way I can
- To travel more in order to enjoy and learn from the experiences of other people and other environments
- To stress less and enjoy more
- Peace, I really want to experience more peace
- To do more things that give me, and those around me, joy
- To work less or at least, de-emphasize the central role of work/career
It’s a rather hodgepodge list but it’s what I’ve got so far.