A quick lesson on Life. Most of us get 4 chapters. So it helps to know how the book of Life unfolds.
I contend we’re born a clean slate.
If true, I’ll go further to say some of us may receive malicious coding while others receive benevolent programming.
A few of us are even fortunate enough to write our own code. I’ve often wondered how that displays. But I know. Those self-programmers are the same humans who create desire lines and do not walk the same worn-out path as the rest of us.
But for those of us who are followers, all is not lost. — I’m here to testify the herd thins after a certain age — and I don’t mean die out.
Yes. Some of us try to hang on to our 30s and 40s programming.
But the rest of us have scattered for lack of direction.
Although initially scary, I realized that no programming is good fortune in disguise.
But more on that later — for now, here’s Life’s cheat sheet.
Chapter 1. 0–25 years old — Programming.
Chapter 2. 25–50 years old — Execution/Operation/Defragmentation/Optimization.
Chapter 3. 50–75 years old — Virus/Bug Programming Error. Malfunction. Self-preservation overrides programming. Host recognizes their own mortality. Some call this a “midlife crisis,” but it’s actually an “awakening.”
Chapter 4. 75–100 years old — As the mainframe begins to shut down, the host’s true nature reveals itself. The “You” you’ve been hiding from reappears. (Your earliest memory revealed a sneak peek of “You.” Social engineering sent them into hiding.)
As I was approaching the end of Chapter two — I realized I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared for what was to come in Chapter three. Of course, we might think, “What is there to prepare for?” To which I say; plenty! Many of us are living longer while keeping aches and pains to a minimum. Yet, there isn’t a programming guide for what happens after 50. — Heck, what’s expected after 40 is even a bit of a crapshoot.
Don’t believe me? Check this:
Recently, on Twitter, I read someone’s critique of the album “Renaissance,” and the critic asked,
“Why is a 40-year-old woman singing about being a “Thot?”
And even though the term “THoT” irks my nerves, my second thought was, “How do you question a Goddess?”
Aside: Goddess is my term for women over 40.
Followed by, “wait, there’s an age limit on being “that h* over there?”
Then I noticed this programming “rule” also tells what’s permissible and expected for those aged 21–31. Note: It is off limits for 40+something.
So, finding our place in society, from 41–51 years and beyond, becomes increasingly difficult because it is defined by all the things we middle-aged folks shouldn’t do.
And Planned Obsolescence is the name for this type of “programming.” If you can program something to perform – surely you can program it to become obsolete. And since the powers-that-be spent so much time programming us for the first two chapters of our lives. Surely, they will program us to believe we have outlived our usefulness during the last two. And sadly, some believe we’re ready to crawl atop a trash heap.
But not so fast! Our consciousness and brain operate like A.I. neural networks. And just like A.I. can write new code, we can reprogram ourselves for new use by simply analyzing and processing all the data we’ve taken over the years. And we all know the technical name for processing data is information. Usable information becomes knowledge, and the use of knowledge is – Wisdom!
So without further ado, here’s what to do at the close of chapter two – allow your knowledge to be actionable. Don’t wait for someone to tell you how to use what you know.
LET GO! Create something new.
“These two words help me start chapter three with a whimper but allow me to thrive as I navigate this new phase.
Because there’s still time to create your version of the “good, good life!”
Feel free to share the highlights of your Book of Life in the comments. Thank you for reading.
PB and I had been friends since high school. In my minds-eye, we’d been friends for much longer. Except I can’t remember our history before that moment. My earliest memories of us together were the cheering squad in junior year and senior year.
We went to the same college and were inseparable during freshman and sophomore years there too.
Fast forward to our 30th high school reunion. By then, we were both moms of twin girls, she with 3 older sons and me with my oldest daughter, who she had visited in the hospital soon after I gave birth. Life had changed for both of us, but once again, we were joined at the hip.
Two years later, after celebrating another 30th reunion for another milestone, PB wanted me to show up to share her joy, our joy really at a birthday celebration for her beau. Unfortunately, after several “reunions” in a two-year span – while also experiencing one of the most confusing times in my life – I couldn’t. It’s been ten years, and we haven’t spoken since.
It wouldn’t have crossed my mind because I like to think I respect the boundaries of others. I would’ve continued believing it, too, If I hadn’t gone to sleep angry.
Earlier that evening, I’d commanded Dug, my grand-puppy-son, to respect my brother’s boundaries. Dug obeyed and left my brother alone. But I made the mistake of not respecting Dug’s boundaries and proceeded to move him along by picking him up. Dug helped me understand I, too, had overstepped by snarling and then nipping my hand. He didn’t hurt me. I told him all was forgiven, but I refused to speak to him for the rest of the evening and well into the morning. So, my subconscious went to work.
PB worked her way into my dream. I woke up with her on my mind. I immediately remembered how it felt when PB stopped speaking to me after I pushed her back from crossing my boundary. A boundary I didn’t know I erected years before.
I always thought wimps set boundaries. Seemed to me that one should evaluate every situation to determine its limits and go the distance if they decide.
In fact, I still do.
So imagine, to my surprise, learning I have set several boundaries that I didn’t acknowledge until today. What’s worse, I realized I will rarely go beyond those boundaries to show up for anyone. Yet, I have loving friends who show up for me in ways I will always treasure.
Recently, my not-so-humble oldest twin daughter reminded me they “turned out so well” because, as I once told my daughters, my friends cared for me when I was pregnant. They were also there for me throughout the girls’
formidable, I mean formative years. My friends were my girls’ “village.”
I reviewed my past behavior to see if I was theirs. From listening to my friends’ intimate accounts and stories, I noticed I show up when there’s a spiritual, emotional, sometimes a physical crisis, much like the village Shaman. And it has a lot to do with the boundaries I’ve set, possibly because of the trauma I’ve experienced.
Boundaries are like priorities that we’ve set for ourselves, whether socially-engineered or due to cultural programming. Further, these boundaries don’t necessarily protect us unless we know how we’ve acquired them. I’m not sure how or when I acquired my boundaries, but they’ve allowed me to show up in my career as well as in my personal life.
I heard a line from some show I was streaming; maybe Resident Alien or some Hallmark movie – and the character said, what she did for a living wasn’t who she was.
What we do professionally, we do personally, and vice versa. The same behavioral characteristics and skill set we possess appear in our professional lives.
If we take time to know ourselves, we’ll see who we are, and what we do is one and the same. No matter how hard we try to separate the two, it will inevitably come back to the same point.
Had I realized this ten years ago, possibly, I could have salvaged my relationship with PB?
But then again, boundaries also serve as a wall to prioritize and focus on what is important. Allowing us to show up and be fully present when we do.