Now that Google Reader has died a sad, and unnecessary death, I no longer expect you to see these posts turn up on the Google Reader page. I swore by the Reader for 8 years, until it was killed by Google yesterday. It may be free, but Googles unsentimental approach to products mean that I no longer trust it. I hope you have found alternatives. For me, the Old Reader does just fine.
And now I am 39. In twelve hours I will be 40. The age of 40 is somewhat irrelevant really : a number has no significance. It's more that at the age of 40, I should have worked out what direction my life is going and got some kind of plan. Like Indiana Jones - like everyone - the answer is "I don't know, I'm making this up as I go along.". The past decade has been made of stratospheric highs and crushing lows. I've lost my hair, and gained some weight, and was made redundant twice. I have been divorced twice, and married twice. I have seen two people be born. I bought a house and am sitting in it now.
I have been stolen from, and assaulted. I've seen more bands in more places to count. I've made great friends. I've lost some, and buried some. I've kissed - well, I know exactly how many, but that's not your business. And I've been to America twice, Spain, France three times, Paris for the first time, Malta, Germany, Sweden, Ireland, and all over the UK. I haven't achieved some of the things I want to, and my career has taken two steps forward and one back since I turned 30. The world is far more fucked now globally than it was in 2003. For me, it's been a hard but good decade. My nature has not been to define myself by how hard I can hit, but how hard I can be hit, and get up, and keep getting up.
I have. I am. I do. And I will.
I have a purpose on this planet, which matches and meets my morals, beliefs, and skills. I am working in an environment I love, where I can see the work that I do improves directly the lives of 95,000 individuals. These people are amongst the poorest and most socially challenged in one of the richest societies in the world. I sleep at night knowing that every day, and in every way, the work I do improves lives, delivers results in ways so small many people may not notice them, and helps. The work I do is interesting and challenging. It allows me to learn, to think, and to do the best thing for the world I live in with my talents.
I am proud of the work I have done, and have made a positive difference to hundreds of thousands of lives in my working life.
I am working where I want. I am the man I want to be. I could be more, but given my talents and my upbringing, I have come a very long way and achieved a lot with my life. More than I hoped or dared I could achieve. I will continue to do so in my future.
My life is not a rehearsal. I have one shot. I will go as far as I possibly can. I am and will be a good father, who takes his responsibilities to the lives I have brought into this world seriously and with humour. I will always be there for my children and teach them everything I have learned with grace and love. Life is absurd and I am and will continue to laugh at it and with it. Life is too short and too beautiful to be miserable.
I will challenge the status quo, challenge and influence wherever possible and right, and seek always to inject brilliance and greatness into everything I do and everyone I touch. I see the best in people at all times. I believe in the better part of human nature. I believe in honesty and happiness and making the world a better place for ourselves and the people around us. I will challenge corruption, selfishness, abuse of power and control. I will seek always to reward similar behaviours and to discourage selfishness and abuse of power.
I will not be defined by my failures, but learn from them and be defined by my response to them. Any situation I have no – or not enough – control and influence over I will change my relationship with, either through changing the situation or leaving it. If I am unsuccessful, I know I will have at all times never given up trying.
Integrity is everything.
I know the world will take as much from us as it can : I seek then to also get the most of life, not just let life take the most it can from me. I believe in tolerance and forgiveness for our failing, and in accepting others viewpoints unless they seek to oppress or endanger others.
In any situation, I will exhibit and maintain control of myself and others as much as reasonably possible, remain calm and considerate, and maintain my principles and beliefs with a practical inflexibility. I will use words as my weapons wherever possible, and only use physical force in emergency or when all other options have failed. I will use my every action as a way of forwarding my beliefs and realising my manifesto, always seeking the next step on the journey. I will never act to hurt others for that sole purpose. I will not ever go silently into any situation I am uncomfortable with. I will communicate with others. I accept my weaknesses and my imperfections, and seek to be a better person. I give much of myself to others but will not forget myself.
I am. I will. I always will be. The best I can be.
It's been a good decade.
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