Ending the year with a “0”

I always try to write something very Christmassy and festive each year, but with a bunch of “Merry Christmas” ads to design, I just didn’t have time to do that before Christmas, or even in time for the new year. But that doesn’t mean you are spared my meandering thoughts this year. No, I’m going to forge ahead anyway.

This year is particularly important to me. It’s a year that I turn a ripe old age that ends with a zero. I don’t feel any older, but my gray hair and expanding waistline disagree. I feel the same as I did in the other years where my age ended with a “0,” except for the year I turned 10. I do feel older than that.

I had expected that by this point in adulthood the people of my generation would have settled in. But no, with middle age staring us down, most of the people I know are on the move. They are busy switching jobs and starting home businesses where they try to sell things to each other (many items deal with defying age, or course. And we aren’t even that old!) Others are following one guru or another, sharing inspirational speeches on social media about fulfilling one’s potential or how to tap oneself to calm anxiety. In short, we are 20 or so years into adulthood, and we are a hot mess.

Of course, we are a hot mess with children. Had we been able to figure things out a little faster, our kids might have been raised by sane people. But no, our children think we know all about the world, but we’re just making it up as we go along.

It makes me wonder just what we are looking for. We really don’t need much: some cold water when we are thirsty, a hot bath when we are dirty or cold. Some clothing. Some food. But so many of my generation work extremely hard to make life good for their children, so those children can work hard making things better for their children, and so on. That’s a lot of work. We’ve invented so many time saving devices, you’d think we wouldn’t need to work all the time. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Everyone my age seems to be working just as much as any other generation.

The need for work follows all of us, as does the desire to try and get out of it. The pull between those two things causes us a lot of trouble. Some see uprightness in working all the time, and others see the innocence of seeking only the bare necessities. Obviously, we all walk a balancing act between the two and toppling off is sometimes inevitable.

There is still a lot of life left to live for us, but life has a way of bringing its own disasters that push us and shove us to change one way or another on into old age.

I’m getting way too philosophical for a newspaper. Christmas is a time for love and joy without thinking too hard about it, but New Year’s always brings self examination for me. I like Christmas, but I like when it is over. The story of Jesus’ birth is lovely, but it is the adult Jesus that cuts through all the mess of life.
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

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