Made it one year into the bonus. Somehow I got it in my brain that I'd never live to see 36 years old. When the calendar marked the 36yr anniversary of my head first slide for fresh air, I looked around and realized I was still here. That's a good thing. At the time I wasn't exactly sure what to make of it or what to do with my bonus time. I suppose I'm still not exactly sure why I'm still here and what I shall do with my reprieve.
This last year went pretty well. I cleared up a lot of things hanging over me from my marriage. I spilled my guts into a blog. I made another failed attempt at running. I did a good bit of traveling. I read a lot, enjoyed a few relationships, and saved up a lot of money. I can really only say I came close to death a handful of times. Driving on the wrong side of the road, cars pulling in front of my motorcycle, snakes, crocodiles..... but really the only troubling injury was the pipe blow to my elbow. That took a really long time to heal and I feared I'd allowed permanent damage to the nerves running to my hand. Seems to be gone now though. So I'm pretty scar free for year 36.
This year I did a considerable amount of reading on psychology and happiness. Of course I still continued the studies I'd done in college on appropriate technologies and my belief in Peak Oil and the gathering evidence that our imperial decline has begun. I even did a good deal of writing. I wrote 4 chapters of a book about life after the "religion of progress" is cast off and replaced with another...equally foolish belief system. I practiced writing a few zines, which is a practice writers use to tap into their subconscious. It's stream of conscious writing. A famous example of this is Ted Kaczynski's manifesto. Most zines are not meant to be published, but often they hold really good points to be expounded on. Ted thought all of his thoughts and ideas were golden and without need of explanation......so he chose to cram them all into a manifesto absent structure....but strangely enough.... (as scholars are starting to realize)....replete with intricate and often prescient observations.
That's something I suppose I'm hoping my meandering prose are providing. Minus the use of violence as an attractant to get people to look, I hope that in the midst of my running, inner reflection, and political/environmental rants that some estimable information is getting passed. That something in these posts moves someone to exercise, read, interact with their environment, or simply to psychologically embrace resilience....just in case the future requires these things as an antidote to an unpleasant situation....or as a practical response to the one certain predicament we all face....death.
From my reading on happiness and my self discovery I've learned something about myself. I've realized that having a goal (even if that goal is frustrating) assists me psychologically to deal with the lack of fulfillment or the mundane. I've also learned that running as opposed to cycling affords me the time and focus to work on areas in my life for improvement. Whereas cycling overwhelms me. I find that when I'm cycling I begin to spiral out of control a bit. My brain begins to accumulate anxiety that seemingly can only be quenched by running away. I spend entire nights riding in the darkness trying to think up an allowable response. I dream of an escape that would allow me to live outside of the burdens of modern industrial society all the while magically somehow awarding me with the accouterments of it that I find desirable.
I know what you're thinking when I say having a goal helps keep me focused and productive ....well...DUH!!! but hey... a man cannot pick his afflictions and anxiety and empathy for our predicament seem to be mine. The fact that I don't find the things most people are focused on, or productive with, as relavent to our certain (in my mind) future.. does not relieve me from the need to fit into our society and play the game.
Since goals seem to be a requirement for fulfillment, and since today is the start of year two in extra innings, I should throw some things out there.
A few things I'd like to do in year 37 of terrible.
1) visit Glenn in Austria. This is looking doubtful as I seem to promise myself out for vacations without planning.
2) run a respectable marathon as a base for a future goal (faster marathon or ultra)
3) Spend more time reading
4) Take guitar lessons
5) Live with less stuff and more experiences
6) Continue trying to convince people that our present is blessed and that we should enjoy it....while reminding them that our future may not be.....so that our enjoyment should come with preparation and acceptance that we may someday need to live without.
7) Reduce the incidence of violence I engage in with others.
8) Make it to 38.