I'm 50 and I Have No Insight
By the time you read this, depending on when you get your copy of Tonic, I will either be playing poker at the Bellagio, blowing out a lot of candles, hungover, or in the final planning stages of OmT.O. 2016. I turn fifty this month. Like many people, I chose to take the time leading up to this “milestone” as an opportunity to be introspective (or more precisely; the opportunity to be even more introspective than I usually am, which is a lot.) I questioned my value and whether I was living up to my potential. Have I developed wisdom? Do I have a philosophy which guides my life?
After much thought I concluded that I have absolutely no grand insight worth sharing. Maybe you should live as I do, or maybe not. I dunno. Have I done great things? Have I made a difference? Am I a success? I have conflicting thoughts on such matters which are heavily dependent on my frame of mind in that given moment. Bottom line is that the jury is still out.
Even though I haven’t found the answers to those big questions which speak to my overall contentment, after fifty years I am able to find happiness, peace and calm in certain moments. In Manhattan, Woody Allen’s character, at the crux of an epiphany, lists the things that he feels are worth living for. That notion always resonated with me. When I feel stuck I think about my list, which doesn’t speak to the most important relationships in my life: wife, family, friends, work etc., (that is a different, but no less important list). Rather my list speaks to the contentment I can find from within and in the moment, unreliant on anybody else.
My favourite moment: I exercise five or six times a week. But on Saturday mornings I do my “big workout” which consists of a boot camp and then a spin or run. It’s exhausting. And I both look forward to it and dread it. When it’s done, I make myself a breakfast of poached eggs and toast, a bowl of fruit and a cup of coffee. It’s the only time I deviate from my usual breakfast of oatmeal. Nothing tastes as delicious to me as the soft yolk breaking over the bread, the chunks of yellow mangos, just ripe bananas and berries and the jolt of coffee. When I’m done I settle into our couch by the front window and tear into the crossword and number puzzles while listening to music. It’s in the routine and ritual. The satisfaction of having completed the exercise. The satiation of my hunger with simple delicious food. The warmth of the sun, comfort of the couch and impending challenge of the puzzles as my pen clicks and the music starts… It is a small thing. An uncomplicated moment of happiness.
Perhaps reading Tonic, and in particular this issue, is part of your moment. Rod Macdonald writes on prioritizing your workouts as if they are vacations (at p. 27) Carlyle Jansen speaks to having the confidence to receive pleasure (at p.33). Or perhaps you find your inner peace in happiness while in Savasana pose (at p.18), in which case you might not only want to read the article, but also join us on Sunday, June 19th at the Distillery District for a full day of free yoga classes at OmT.O. As always if you’d like to discuss this note or anything else you’ve read in Tonic, please feel free to reach out to me.