I turn 45 years old today. There is always a bit of wistfulness when another year passes. I think more and more about being on the lee side of middle age. I also think a lot about the time I’ve wasted on frivolous pursuits and other distractions. But in the end, I’ve not much to complain about. I have a good job and family and live in a small town by the sea. I have more than I thought I would.
Looking down slope from middle age I think about how much I still want to learn and do and the skills I want to master (such as the hand cut dovetail, which I will post about next week). I have always tended toward a bit of melancholy and can easily find myself dwelling on regret; it really is just who I am. But I don’t wallow too much because in the end what I feel most acutely with each passing year is a deepening sense of gratitude for everything I have: my community, my friends, my family, my colleagues and students, and my little corner of the world where I get to plant and grow and build and create.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”