Wednesday, September 04, 2013

life assessment 101

It may be because it's my birthday coming up. A third of the way to 99, I am "definitely cracking on" as my colleague put it.
Or it may be because of a load of other things that have happened over the last few weeks that have made me assess what I have done with my life so far.

Probably the latter. 

So I've put together a little assessment. I'd love to know what your answers are.
My answers are divided into two buckets glasses: half full and half empty.

The question is: If I was unable to carry on living the life I currently have right now, how would I really feel?

So here I am, having built up a life for myself spanning over 33 years. But as we know life throws things at people. Mostly unexpectedly. Like hurricanes, babies, bankruptcy, or like today, how I nearly got run over by a delivery truck. Death happens.

So how would I feel if - as it currently stands - all disappeared overnight?

Assuming my life can be roughly categorised as such (Just hate being forced, thighs and all, into a box, but for the purposes of this exercise): A thirtysomething, enjoying the fruits of a disposable income, lives in one of the world's greatest cities, sleeps in at weekends, works late, works early, travels a lot, recently married, probably works a bit more than is considered a sensible work-life balance, but is healthy.
Sounds fairly decent doesn't it?

And what about the things I'd managed to do reasonably well, the things I truly cared about achieving before say, sudden death?

Had a book published by a global publishing house.
Got hired twice by my employer, a Fortune 500 company, after undergoing a rigorous interview process both times in two different markets.
Manage to do a somewhat decent job.
Have had interesting career path, doing lots of different things at lots of different places.
Married a kind, loving man.
Goes to the gym thrice a week.
Played Grade 7 piano.
Have friends in many corners of the globe.
Took a gap year.
Did a ski season.

What about the things I'm not so proud of and could've done without?
Bad man choices (not all, by all means none of them completely diabolical, just some pretty obvious ones I should've let go or steered clear of a lot sooner.)
Smoked up until, well pretty much two months ago.
Drove home drunk more than a few times back in Johannesburg.
Angry words I say in the heat of the moment; the ability for my temper to flare really easily.
For being stuck in my ways (one of the reasons I'm doing this blog post in the first place.)
Regrets about things I've done that I can never rectify.

The point here is, have I made good use of the time I've had? Have I squeezed in enough in my 33 years? Have I really made the most of my life?  I'd like to think I have.

My life is very different from many of my friends my age who have been proper grown ups longer than I have.

But the question really is this - how would I feel if tomorrow I couldn't:

Travel anymore. At all. Anywhere.
Half Empty:

A bit uppity. That would mean that I couldn't just travel back to South Africa, nevermind other exotic locations. It would mean my communist-obsessed dreams of holidaying in the Ukraine would never be realised (like jumping off a discarded submarine in just my underpants in the Black Sea).

Half Full:

In some ways, I'd feel fine. I've done 48 countries, I've been privileged to have seen parts of the world most people can only dream of. I also have seen parts of the world some people don't even know of ("What's an Estonia? Is that a sexual thing?") or care to see.

Suddenly had no extra/disposable cash
Goodbye handbags, London's incredible fashion and clothing shopping. No more organic bath, face and food products - all of which I spend a due amount on. No eating out, or big lavish nights on the town.

Half Empty:

One of the great joys of residing in this city is the shopping. Hands down my favourite thing to do on a weekend. Stroll down the King's Road, buy a sneaky pair of shoes. Hitting up my organic obsession by visiting Neal's Yard for some of that beautifully packaged and therefore expensively-priced, rose oil for my face. Eating out is also one of the best experiences in London - the choice is ridiculous, as is the quality of the food.

Half Full:

I have invested - it is an investment - in two designer handbags, and don't need anymore. I'm sorted. My wardrobe is now nicely boring - mostly filled with classics, and anything vaguely trendy I don't spend a lot of money on.
I don't need to shop for clothes very month.
Organic rose oil, do I really need this? Probably not. But then I'd surely start distilling my own rose bushes well before I buy that stuff laced with Sodium Lauryth-Sulphate you find at Asda.
Instead of going to the pub, just watch a really good series like Breaking Bad. Every night.

Suddenly was home ridden. 
Either I suddenly didn't have the capacity to go out to restaurants/go on a spontaneous night out [ref. above] or God forbid fell ill and had to work from a bed at home, or look after something full-time.

Half Empty:

I would ache for the freedom of spontaneity, and being able to just go wherever I like to eat something, when I fucking felt it. I'd feel shackled; I get cabin fever extremely easily. I need space. A lot of it.

Half Full:

Daytime porn obviously. On a screen in front of my bed. Or not. I would make my home a sanctuary of amazingness, a zen capsule combined with cosy comforts and many nooks and crannies to escape to. Even if I had to use room dividers to do it. I'd try to go somewhere other than my neighbourhood at least once a month.

Suddenly had another circumstance or someone else dictating your choices
What you choose to do is no longer yours. You could find yourself married to someone from Saudi Arabia where women don't get choices, or you could be moved to the middle of Chad by the Witness Protection Programme/or your spouse lives there.

Half Empty:

Someone telling me what to do? Good one. Towing the line without a sulk would be really hard for me. This is one area I'd really suffer.

Half Full:

Maybe the choices made by others are for your own good? Maybe you just do what you want anyway, the way you want it, and tell everyone else to fuck right off?

So yes. Was in a philosophical mood today, and there's no real moral to this story. Well actually maybe there is. Of course there is.

There's s bandy of cliche's that have said it time and time again.

Never take your life and what you have for granted. Accept that things might change, try to adapt, make it work for you, and always live each day like it's your last.

1 comment:

Kookalooks said...

Hmm, this all makes sense now ;)