(ed. note: number counts are updated as of 11/2/13)
The last day of my 29th year was a tiring one. Looking back The goals I set when I returned from Australia have mostly eluded me. Every year will have highs and lows. Things will always be crazy and they will not go according to plan. If your goals elude you, that is a good sign they are worthy enough. The perspective of the first few days of my 30th year reminds me that it has in fact (of course), been another excellent year. Time with my Australian family, an amazing trip in the Wind River, and an increased objection to the notion of what “should be” have been a few among many highlights.
My roommate Tess and I share our birthday on October 12, and we shared simple motivations for a joint celebration- climb with friends then eat great food. Without any additional effort, the gifts of the day were very much greater.
About 10 people showed up Saturday morning to celebrate by climbing. By 7pm, our group had become a 30 person potluck extravaganza in the best way. The night ended at an awesome performance at the Top Hat, with a few more folks that didn’t make the potluck.
The existential questions have always seemed to sit with me too easily – “am I working the right job?”/”hanging with the right people”/”spending my time wisely?” Being goal oriented has been part of my M.O. for as long as I can remember. I’m starting the 29th year though in a different direction. My penchant for responsibility and thrift moves me towards more experiences and fewer things. While cleaning up on Sunday, Tess’ friend Greg shared a more succinct view of aging:
“In our generation, success is more about what you have experienced than what you have bought.”
This may seem ironic given that my birthday present to myself was taking some cash out of the bank for new skis. The house I was hoping to buy next spring doesn’t really fit my goal of owning fewer things anyways. New skis and new friends bring the promise of new experience and new quality. The question of the 29th year is not “how do I do more”- it is one of “how do I do less, better.”