Monday, June 3, 2013

Ten points about turning 44

As I write this, it's become my birthday, and as I've got to be a lot older than most of you people, it's time to share some Middle Aged Wisdom. It's dearly bought, so listen up.

10) The only job security on this earth is your personal network. So if you have to leave a gig, that's fine, but don't limp your way out the door or throw bombs because you've got an issue with someone. Run through the tape, because it's a very small world, and you're going to keep meeting the same people, over and over again. And if the last thing they remember of you is slacking off, they aren't going to want to work with you again.

9) Similarly, if you give notice, do not tell anyone where you are going. It doesn't really matter, and it's not out of bounds that someone at your old gig decides to salt the earth in front of your arrival.

8) Feel free to blame anyone you like for your problems; it's fun and can be great fuel. Just know that when you do this, you run the risk of never solving them, since the problem stops being something you can directly control.

7) Be very careful about the quality of your gear... because as soon as you gear up, going down will not go easily. This goes for tools, food, musical instruments, golf clubs, cars, etc.

6) If the sex is crazy good, it's very possible that your partner is crazy, period. Everyone has had this relationship; the trick is not having this relationship for longer than, well, tenable.

5) Going through life with the same favorite things, decade after decade, may be a sign that you aren't thinking very hard about these things, and living life to less than the fullest. Your favorite stuff should be able to withstand a challenge.

4) If you really want to do something amazing, convince yourself that you have no other option but to do that. Just be really certain that it's worth your undivided attention.

3) As you get older, you will need to work out harder, eat less, take longer to heal and endure more just to stand still, physically. If all of that depresses you, consider the alternative.

2) Life is not fair, and if you live in the United States, make more than $25K a year, aren't part of a racial or sexual minority or have a brutal health condition, it's really not fair in your favor, by a pretty ridiculous margin, actually. Don't whine.

1) Happiness is a choice. An impossible, irrational, idiotic choice that you will forget to make over and over again. But you have to choose it anyway, because once again, the alternative really sucks.

Oh, and if you think turning 44 isn't a big deal? You are absolutely right. Play me out, Patton...

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