I wrote a post of thirty-six things when observing my thirty-sixth birthday. Here’s another go for thirty-nine.

The theme this time around? Thirty-nine ideas I believe to be true, now.

  1. Experiences are preferable to stuff. Experiences also rely on stuff. Renting climbing shoes made bouldering a potential hobby. Buying climbing shoes claimed bouldering as my hobby. Both experiences and stuff have weaknesses. Stuff wears out and breaks. Experiences can be tarnished by betrayal. Enjoy it, now.
  2. I prefer sobriety. I stopped consuming alcohol three months ago. My motivation is not morality. Or addressing abuse. I was not numbing my feelings intentionally. The resulting space for them to breath, speak, and shout has been life changing.
  3. Disappointment is okay. Expect it. Some friends abandoned me last year. Others abandoned their virtues. The loss is real. Attempting to control the friends is a fool’s errand. All I can control is my willingness to continue in friendliness and pursue the virtues.
  4. Let my kids have their own experience. They will appreciate the world differently than I do. Seek to understand how they’re seeing things. Be open to them rejecting my narration. It’s my unwavering love and support that I want to stick.
  5. Rethink self authorization. You’ve been taught that you cannot trust yourself, your experiences, or your gut. You’ve constrained your actions and feelings to a list permitted by leaders. The leaders betrayed you. They revealed their true beliefs about those convictions. Should have gone with your gut.
  6. Disney parks are fun. Disney parks are expensive. Disney parks are fun and expensive.
  7. I’ll most likely regret how I’ve spent my thirties. Preoccupied with things that do not endure. Every time I’m looking at my phone instead of the person in front of me. I feel it. Perhaps writing it will challenge my behavior.
  8. No amount of tooling can fix a problem of vision. Metaphorically. Glasses, contacts, and surgery can fix them literally.
  9. Social media was a mistake. I owe my career and many relationships to that mistake. Doesn’t make it any less of a mistake.
  10. Not everything needs to be an investment. Commodities are fine.
  11. Having fun is undervalued.
  12. People are more important than process. Some people want process because they don’t know how to be with people. Or don’t want to be with people. In the discomfort. In their own emotions. In the inefficiency. In the fear. With conflicting desires. Process isn’t bad. Reaching for it prematurely codifies the relational problems. Over prescribing it creates a public health crisis.
  13. You’re not in any danger. 99.9% of the time that is true. That is not true for everyone. Recognize the gift.
  14. Anxiety is the least useful expression of creativity. Draw a rock or something.
  15. “Memento mori”. The stoics got it right. Meditating on your own death and its inevitability is sobering and calls you back to reality.
  16. Searching for meaning. Assigning meaning. Acceptance that not everything is meaningful. Assurance that not everything is meaningless. Meaning is a logarithmic scale. As is the Richter.
  17. Star Wars is just okay.
  18. Privilege and entitlement are different things. Enjoy privilege and leverage it to help others. Eradicate entitlement upon discovery. You aren’t owed anything. You didn’t earn all you have. You worked for it, no doubt. You’ve received more than you ever imagined. Enjoy it. Share it.
  19. You are not responsible for managing other people’s emotions. You are responsible for maintaining relationships with people. Who will have emotions that cause discomfort. Sit in it with them.
  20. Average life expectancy for American males is 77 years. I am arguably average. And have most likely transitioned to the second half of my life. Going by the statistics.
  21. No one will remember me in 100 years. The autonomy that provides is a gift.
  22. The best years of my life are ahead of me.
  23. The most painful years of my life are ahead of me. Parents will pass away. Families will divorce. Friends will die. Businesses will fail. Investments will lose value. We’ll get through it together.
  24. Everybody is winging it. People who wing it on the side of serving others beat the odds. And they’re happier.
  25. Don’t let somebody else define success. There’s nothing worse than waking up to realize you were pursuing somebody else’s dreams.
  26. Words are ineffective. Model the behavior you want to see in your kids.
  27. Words become effective when people observe your matching behavior. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us.”
  28. Live sports are the best form of entertainment. The ending is unknown. There’s no script. Anything can happen. You can’t experience it again later. The outcome doesn’t matter. It’s fun to cheer. Improv comedy is good too.
  29. Boredom is even better than entertainment. Sometimes.
  30. There’s too much stuff in my life. Time for a purge. Of possessions. Of ideas. Of commitments. Holding on to those freshly bought climbing shoes.
  31. My flesh and my body will fail. Health isn’t guaranteed. You’ve gotta nurture it.
  32. I’m drawn to code because the computer does exactly as it’s told. A bug in the code is an error in my instruction. This doesn’t make me a failure. This makes me human. We all need feedback. Computers are a safe space to play with different feedback loops. They’re not a suitable replacement for the feedback loop of real relationships.
  33. Writing code is fun creative expression. I strait up enjoy it. I have friends and family who will never be able to comprehend this source of dopamine.
  34. ChatGPT and it’s successors will replace some jobs. New jobs will be invented. New curiosities will emerge. We’ll never make the pivot to a majority of time spent on recreation. Not until a majority believes that having fun is okay.
  35. Hypocrisy is inevitable. We are people who live in tension of complimentary and competing values. I wonder if we’re constrained by our biology. Skeletal systems are rigid. Muscular systems are flexible. We need the tension of both in concert for movement and survival.
  36. Some hypocrisy is not inevitable. Know the difference. And avoid it in yourself.
  37. There’s always a better computer, microphone, pen, stationary, keyboard, guitar, tripod, light, et al. Don’t chase the best gear. Just get on with the good enough creativity already.
  38. My partner and I are committed to each other. She’ll outlive me. Which means I’ll never go to bed alone again. Statistically.
  39. When my head hits the pillow I still pray to God the father in Jesus’ name amen.

Published: 2023-01-19

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