1) I don't really need to be reminded that I am growing older; in fact, I've made that point clear countless times already.
2) Not only am physically older, but I'm starting to sound mentally older too.
The above noted, I am going to be annoying I supposed for one more time. Well, probably many more times to come, but specifically this time. Be forewarned. Blame going to Maine on vacation, as it has a habit of bring this kind of stuff out.
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One of the things I have noticed as I ponder the deeper stuff in life (such as "Why am I here?", "What will my legacy be?", "Have I made enough of a difference?" and "Why still can't I have clear skin?") is that you start to see connections between things. Life, it seems, is a series of connected events; the trick is to see that the events are in fact connected. Circular? You bet, but it also has the benefit of being true.
Now I could probably cite a few examples, but writing about the most relevant ones would violate my own rules about protecting the innocent here, so I'll be needlessly circumspect for the moment.
Anyway, I see in life that what came before (as difficult as those events were) were requirements to be here now. It's like of like a college course in a way: you have to take Accounting 101 before you take Accounting 102. Actually I took both at the same time, but so I digress. Anyway and unlike accounting though, it's not always easy to see how the past events prepared you for today. It's also impossible, in the moment, to see how events today prepare us for tomorrow. What you can see though, through experience (there goes that "age/wisdom crap" again), is the learning process in action.
There is a trick of sorts here, namely not just seeing how the events in your life tie together, but rather understanding how the process of growth happens between those events. Maybe, just maybe, if you put enough of those related events together, seeing enough of the connections, you can begin to piece together a pattern that can help you understand where you are going into the future. It's almost a math kind of thing: if you analyze the intervals between events, pretty soon you garner enough data so that you can then model what you might be learning in the future between events.
This becomes important stuff in a lot of ways, especially as you grow older. The way I figure it, I have more days behind me than in front of me, so I have to make those days really, really count. I simply have fewer to waste, and that trend will only be accelerating. The beautiful part? It's all remarkably possible.
When you boil it all down, what's really important aren't the events, but really the spaces between the events. That's where life gets interesting. That's where the rubber hits the road. That's where we have the most control, quite frankly. Control? Why certainly; consider the fact that all of us will experience what I will artfully call...
...or CRAPP for short. The CRAPP comes to all of us, rich or poor, prepared or not. Some of the CRAPP is of our own doing, some is completely alien CRAPP. The source of the CRAPP doesn't matter. What does matter though is what we do with the CRAPP. The "what we do" part is the space between the piles of CRAPP in our lives.
Could I be any more sophomoric than the above? In fairness to me, I am not the first to come up with a silly acronym, although mine at least works within the context of the posting. What's more, it's kind of fun.
Back to being serious.
No matter what these life events are called, it's up to us to make sense of them, as they are all truly a gift. Even the worst of them are gifts. Every moment after every hardship is an opportunity to grow and to learn, and within the context of human existence, there is no higher order endeavor than learning and growing.
Enjoy those spaces.