Friday, August 17, 2012

The Late 20's Are The Dog Days of Summer

The late 20's feel to me like the dog days of summer.

Summer has been good.  I have vacationed to the tops of mountains and sunny beaches.  My days have been spent hiking, climbing and fishing.  I've enjoyed quality time with family, friends, and great books.  I have gardened and improved my home.  My golf score has been cut by 10 strokes (I'm still terrible).  Afforded all the luxuries of a middle class summer, I am tanner, healthier, and happier than when the summer began.

And yet, summer continues, hot and slow.  I go to bed later, and sleep in longer.  I lay on the couch. Summer drifts, almost aimlessly.  I am eager for the return of work, purpose, cool weather and college football.

In these slower days, I have considered that the late 20's is certainly a transition from everything that came before.  The first 22 years of my life school seemed to be an end in and of itself.  Something to be accomplished, with great freedoms and great successes looming just over the horizon.

Now here I am.  A career I love.  Good friends, good relationships.  A house.   The means to pursue my interests.  I'm happy and comfortable by any reasonable standard (if you think you need millions, or hundreds of thousands to be happy, get your head checked).  Life is good, I have achieved many of my goals.  And yet, at times, life seems to be drifting.

Maybe I'm waiting for that next big milestone:  Marriage, family and kids.  Maybe this is the five year career itch.  Sometimes I want to drop everything and go out and see the world.  Travel non-stop for a year or two.  Or start a business.  Or move to a foreign country.  Or hitchhike across the continent and back.

I don't know why I feel this way, but my best guess is this:  We all need something to pursue.  Something that gives us purpose, drive, and passion.  At the moment, perhaps I've reached most of my goals and plateaued.  I could continue this way for the next 30 years until I retire, and live a very happy, and productive life.  But I imagine the listlessness wouldn't fade.    

Maybe it's time to dream, plan, and pursue.  You only get one life.  Give thanks for what you have, but don't be afraid to do something that's never been done, or that you never dreamed you could do.

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