What’s Your Place? Such a simple question. . . If you look deep enough into it, discoveries about yourself erupt, surprisingly. What’s Your Place is much more than a question about one’s physical, geographic location. It can also transport you to mushing around in deep philosophical questions concerning your authentic self, along with questions about the what, why, how and when of your lifelong pursuits.
On “Meaning in Life and Why It Matters” and a Call for Comments.
There are certain books so tedious and difficult to fully comprehend that I surprise even myself when I actually read them in their entirety. One such book I recently completed fits that billing: “Meaning in Life and Why It Matters,” by Susan R. Wolf, a well-established philosophy professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who formerly taught at Harvard University, the University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University.
While I have always been a highly introspective person, I never thought my introspection would grow more prominently into old age. I assumed (never assume) that by now – at 64 – I would have it all figured out and there would be less of a need to be looking inward and more of a desire to increasingly play cards with other people near or in retirement. Boy was I wrong!
As I have noted in a good number of previous posts, early old age, which varies for some, ranging anywhere from 45 to 65, brings lots of consternation about who you really are and what you are doing with yourself in work and elsewhere. You come to an intersection where you think more deeply about where your compass is pointing, and it’s almost like going back in time to when you were first trying to figure out what you were going to do with your life.
I recently took a popular psychology test that measures whether or not you experience meaning in your life as well as how engaged and motivated you are in finding or deepening your life’s meaning.
If you estimate you will inhabit the Earth until you reach into your ninetieth year, you can use an obvious baseball metaphor to represent your aging life. At 60 you are in the sixth inning of a nine-inning game, and you are – congratulations – manager of the home team. With 60 being the first decade of the final third of the game, reaching that milestone, in my opinion, means you can officially be called “old.”