Under Construction

Taking stock and continuous  learning...

New Years has never been a time for resolutions for me. Somewhere around the end of September or beginning of October when the weather turns from blistering hot to a cooler warm my mind automatically starts taking stock thinking how I'd like to proceed the next year. It's a work in progress since for me life is a series of steps forward through continuous learning and being under construction. In December I start house cleaning thoroughly since it has been shut tight during the summer. While going through my entire home I am also clearing out the unnecessary stuff accumulated throughout the year. I shred what little paperwork I still keep, toss or give away things, organize my digital life, getting things in order for the New Year. No resolutions for the upcoming year except a list of things I want to do or get better at doing, clearing the cache in my brain and starting anew.

It's curious to me why so many people fight aging and dislike getting older. My life has gotten steadily better and easier to understand myself and others as life's milestones go by. I no longer worry about things that I once did and I'm not striving to stay young since I've already been young once. Why repeat it? It was fun, I had a pretty good time but it was also stressful because I was unsure of myself lacking maturity and wisdom of age. As I get older the pieces of the puzzle collected through years of living start coming together and I can see the bigger picture. I've lived a full life and if I died tomorrow, although I'd like to live until I'm a hundred, I'd be alright with that. Whenever it happens I want people to say "he died from having lived."

Life does get better as you put the miles on if you travel with the right attitude. Resolutions are declarations of intent with a deadline whereas goals are destinations to arrive at in order to move on to the next one. Each New Year is an opportunity to keep growing and learning through discovery. Cleaning the physical house you live in is also a way of renewing your energy and your physical being that is the house where your spirit lives. Taking stock of where your mind and soul are also is a way of refreshing and renewing your sense of purpose and direction. Resolutions somehow never seem to be met and to me far better to list out items that keep you moving forward and always learning alongside a renewed commitment of gracefully moving from one passage to another.


  1. First of all I want to get the silliness out of the way and say I'm sorry I haven't commented for so long, JR. I promise you it wasn't any conscious decision to get out-of-touch with online friends, nor was it because anything you (or anyone else on here) posted was "boring"; I have checked in from time to time and loved seeing your photos and thoughts. I guess I was just struck internet-mute for a while; maybe I could have said "nice pic" more often but it wouldn't have been right.

    That said, I love this post. I'm on record as being areligious and I remain so, but if I were to create a religion I think I'd pick the things you state here because you make compelling arguments for embracing getting old.

    I'm 45 and I've never felt "old", and it's not out of defiance of...well, pretty much everything everyone older than you always tells you about getting old. In my experience, it's always been a horror story awaiting me, aches and pains and regrets and failures and imposed impossibilities...and it's always been the least vibrant, least interested, most bored people I know who have said this crap. Which may be why I don't buy a word of it. An awful lot of people seem perfectly willing to announce that they're old. They don't say it as a good thing. I hope to be really old someday, maybe 113 or something, and hand someone a poem or a picture and say, "this is for you...it showed up yesterday". Maybe that's irrational exuberance (finally, a relevant use for that two-word combo lol) but it's me, and I suspect it's you, too, and a few other people I know.

    Thanks for posting and commenting and making me think, JR.

  2. Not to worry about not commenting, we all take a break, if not from the web, from interacting on it. Sometimes we just want to be silent and observe.

    I have only a few really close friends and I've known them for decades and the one I talk to at least a few times a week and email daily is 75. You would never know it, she is very active and her mind is sharper than most, her husband is 76 and was on the roof the other day fixing the plumbing. Another guy is 64 and he's the same way. Then there's my 84 year old mother who still goes to "Silver Sneakers" aerobics. So my examples for aging have never been the stereotype and those I see that way, as you put it, are the bored people who also never bothered to keep their minds and bodies in a modicum of shape. It's hard for me to believe I'm only a couple of years away from 60, I don't relate to what that number is supposed to mean at all. None of my friends my age do either so...

    I'm planning on between 100-125 so this whole blogging, photography, video thing which I started doing again back in 2007 grew way into more than I expected. I see the growth I've made in photography and the possibilities with that and my blog writing so I'm planning on continuous learning with that next year. Want to keep my skills sharp for the next 50 years.

    Thanks for commenting and your posts also. Always good to read what you have to say and the pictures you post from another side of the country. If you do stop by here give me a "+1" at the bottom of the post because it lets me know you were here (and in shameless promotion) it does help my Google rankings. I like that my audience is small and full of people like you.

    Sounds like you've settled into a job that is new and different for you and a renewal on other fronts in life for you also. Make it a great New Year Mike!