In with the new

I was sweeping the car port today, for the first time ever in January, when I thought, “God, I’m turning into one of those obsessive compulsive types…” Then I thought, ‘It’s too late.’

The thing is, I love getting rid of stuff. It’s become an obsession. And it occurred to me today when I was sweeping that what I really want to be in 2008 is the guy who has the most and the least. The exciting thing is, it’s totally within my grasp. The happiest times in my life have been those when I had the least stuff: 1) at the cabin when it was just built, 2) in the Middle East for 3 months with one change of clothes in the desert, 3) a year of study in Nice, France only able to afford to eat baguettes every day.

I will be 40 this year. Actually, in less than 3 months. People ask me if I’m concerned, like there’s something I could do about it. I’ve thought about it a lot, mostly because I do have grey hair now, and I’ve noticed a wee double chin that I’m determined to zap through running and (maybe) less beer in the New Year (yeah, right). The nice thing about turning 40 is you no longer have to worry about ending up being a failure (unless you are one already). And since I made some good choices in my 20s I can reasonably expect to retire comfortably in about 15 years. Which just seems weird. Stop working? Why would I? I’m lucky because my work is actually fun (something I’m grateful for as the old year ends). And, well, I seriously don’t feel any different than did when I was 25. I love that. I do a kick-ass head-stand, and today I ran 4k on a whim and didn’t break a sweat.

But when I was 25 I was worried about being successful and able to retire by 55. Stupid.

What wisdom can I offer as I hit 40?

  • Watch out. Stuart Hickox has nothing to prove to anyone.
  • H.D. Thoreau was a genius even without wireless.
  • Less is more.

It’s liberating to get rid of the junk. You are not your old fitted sheets. Throw. Them. Out. And have a happy new year.

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