the story of your life

The Story of Your Life

An alternative approach to living in the moment by cultivating a perpetual midlife crisis.

Once upon a time, you were born and rainbows exploded across the sky, dolphins leapt in the waters of your birthing pool and the heavens trumpeted your arrival.
Either way, stuff happened, then more stuff happened, then more stuff happened, and then even more stuff happened, and now here you are.

And so it is with the story of your life.
A story you don’t know which chapter you are in until it is over. 
You could be in the beginning part, or you could be in the middle, or you could be in the last chapter.
Looking at other people’s lives is no help, no guarantee of figuring out where you are. Some people die young! Some people live for a lot longer than expected.
Especially to themselves.

Don’t Keep Baby Waiting

If I say to a 90-year-old person, “Your package will arrive in one day,” they will probably think that is pretty quick and a very short time to have to wait.

If I say the same thing to a one-day-old child, they will freak out.
“A day! I am only a day old! That means I will have to wait my whole life over for this package to arrive! I don’t know if I can wait that long. I don’t know if I can make it man.”

We don’t know how long we have got and we don’t know where we are in the story. So I suggest living in the middle.
Living as if you were in the middle of your life.
All the time. 
Regardless of your age. 

Whether you are young or old it makes no difference it takes the pressure off both ends.

If you are 20 there is a lot of pressure to make something of yourself, to achieve things, to climb the mountains of success, to figure out your purpose in life. Exhausting.

Instead, I suggest seeing 20 as the midpoint of your life. As if someone came back from the future and let it slip that you were going to die at 40.

That puts you right in the middle of your life.
Suddenly everything looks different.
The pressure to achieve and become something switches to appreciating being.

If you are 90 there is a lot of pressure to feel like you are obsolete, out of date, irrelevant, and at the end of your life.

Instead, I suggest seeing 90 as the midpoint of our life. As if an amazing life-extending process has been discovered and your life has been extended to 180.
Suddenly everything looks different.
You now have a whole other life to live, one where you can bring all the wisdom of your experience to bear.

The often quoted Dylan Thomas poem about raging against the dying of the light is more than just talking about the process of dying.
Don’t let the light go out of your life now, years before its time.

So I am suggesting you live your life as if you were in the middle of it no matter what age. That you are perfectly balanced between the amount of years you have lived, and the amount of years you are going to live.
That you have just as many ahead of you as you have behind you.

The Wisdom of Trees

A friend told me about a conversation they had with a tree recently. It was springtime, and the new buds were just coming out on the tree. My friend asked the tree what it felt like to have all this new growth. The tree replied that it felt like going asleep at age 76 and waking up at age 16.

Use the time-shifting wisdom of the trees in your own life.

What are called midlife crises often get a bad rap due in no small part to the clichéd middle-aged man buying a sports car and dating younger women.
In its essence, what is called a midlife crisis is actually a crisis of consciousness or an awakening of consciousness. It is the time when a person realizes their mortality, and begins to ask some serious questions.
“What am I doing with my life?” 
“What is really important to me?” 
“What is the biggest yes in my life?”

I encourage you to stay poised in a perpetual midlife crisis. 
No matter what age you are. 
Because we experience our lives now.
We live in the moment of now. 
It is always now. 
Now doesn’t become the next moment.
If the next moment is now then it isn’t the next moment any longer it is now.
It is always now. 
Which means now is timeless.
Now is the center of our experience so we are always in the middle of our life.


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