The Armstrong Family Circus

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Maineville • Ohio • USA

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Thoughts on getting older

Sunday May 31st 2009

by Paul Armstrong



Today I turn thirty-seven. Big whoop. I'm neither the first nor the last to turn thrity-seven and I feel that I've hardly lived at all. The truth is that I'm middle aged (if you consider the average age of the American male as seventy-four). Half my life is past me and its inevitable to avoid the "what have I done" conjectures.


Its hard not to measure your life by the things you've accomplished (and not accomplished), to look at your failures and think that without those perhaps you'd be this or have that. I don't know what I'll be doing in a year, let alone 5 years from now — hell, I'm still not even sure what I want to be when I grow up. But isn't that the point of life, not to have the answers, but to have the faith to go forward anyway?


You are living in the best time of your life right now — it's not in the future or the past, it's right now. Anything you've done you can't undo, and everything you do is already done. There is nothing you can do about what isn't or what already is, which is why now is so important. Be happy. Live full. Live with meaning. Hang out friends, ditch work and go see a movie, daydream about driving across the country in an RV, drink too much one day and throw up in someone else's van after you had a really strong cigar on a cold Christmas evening, look in the mirror and act out some dramatic play about your life (or whatever). Live.


Life is about the unknown, about embracing the unknown. You can plan all you want, you can fool yourself into believing that you will be prepared for this thing or that thing, but you can't (which is why its called the unknown). I don't know that I'm more wise, perhaps I've seen enough, lived enough and made enough mistakes to know what not to do the second time around (and believe me, though time and situations change, you will face the same type of decisions over and over and over in your life). I would never have been prepared for marriage, or fatherhood, or running my business; yet here I am (doing each with both success and failure). Everything is a mixture of beauty and heartache, and nothing will be what you wanted or thought (and that's a pretty great thing). You've been given a vehicle to drive, just hit the gas and go — God will tell you where to go.


Don't wait for all the pieces to line up, don't wait till you feel prepared, don't wait around from magic signs from the sky, move forward. Jump in. Its worth it.






Comments for "Thoughts on getting older"

Have the faith to move forward. That's a great point. I think we all want to live there and in the freedom it affords.

Recently heard that faith is acting like what you believe to be true is actually true. Your thoughts here describe that well.

Just re-read this again. Good post. Yes the ideal situations will never happen. And yes we will always mess up some aspect of the ideal outcome.

So, though we plan, we cannot wait; and though we remember, we cannot stop.

Good post.

by Matthew Strid
Monday, June 1st, 2009

i think you just gave me a kick in the butt. thanks.

happy halfway!

there is zen in your art and in your understanding. happy birthday.

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