Decade

Decade: (n) a period of ten years

I guess if we’re working with averages, most of us get to live in seven decades.

The first ten years are so out of our control that it would be difficult to know if the time period and the circumstances really mean that much to us. I do remember things from my first decade, but it’s more like a motion picture being played in the background or a series of fast trains speeding by.

My second decade was mostly about sex.

It was the discovery of it, the curiosity about it, the pursuit of it, masturbation and finally ending up in the arms of a woman, completely hapless.

My third decade was based around having children and figuring out how to pay bills, while still honoring my occupational dream. As you can tell by the conglomeration, I didn’t end up doing any of them particularly well.

Now, in my fourth decade, I started gaining some solvency.

What that meant to me was, when the electric bill showed up, I paid it instead of negotiating it. It was a pleasant step. Unfortunately, simultaneously I was dealing with children—some of whom were watching life whizz by and others, completely occupied with their groins.

The next decade I did a lot of traveling, performing and writing, at a time in my life when I was not in as good shape as ten years earlier. But contrary to popular opinion, life gives you a hamburger but really does not ask you what you want on it.

Now that I’m in my sixth decade, I don’t really care if people agree with me. I’m not out to impress anyone, I have enough money to get by and still buy a treat or two, and I have fun acting much more mentally spry than people believe I should be.

I have no idea how much further I will go in the decade pursuit.

Maybe some—maybe not.

But I will tell you, as long as you can go to bed at night, laugh at your mistakes, and get up the next morning believing you can do better, you will survive the war.

Alchemist

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alchemy: (n) the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir.

“I need more.

Those three words form one of the more useless phrases in the English language. Yet the proclamation–or at least the sentiment–is in the air constantly.

I don’t know when we established the notion that pleading poverty, lack or futility is an acceptable profile for human behavior. What I mean is, even though we all pull up lame and make excuses, we privately hate it when it is done by others.

I have really noticed this over the past ten years. About a decade ago, I realized that whatever is going to happen in my career, dreams and aspirations has already happened, and unless I learn to take what is available and turn it into something better, I will become disgruntled.

One of the more stupid attributes of the human family is the insistence that we’re waiting for our “big break.” It’s why I would never buy a lottery ticket. Buying one would demand buying at least a dozen others in order to increase your potential, even though the odds of the bonanza coming my way are astronomical.

I want to stop complaining about what I have–and turn it into gold (or at least some yellow material that would pass.) That’s what the alchemists did. Their main claim was that they could change lead into gold. (Maybe that’s what we mean by “getting the lead out.”)

Yes, if I stop looking at the lead that comes my way and start using it more productively, maybe some gold will come out of it. I don’t know about you–I’m a little tired of seeing people turn gold into lead:

  • I’m weary of a religious system that takes a gospel of love and transforms it into a mediocre pabulum of rules and regulations.
  • I’m angered by the nobility of the American dream and the cause of freedom being denigrated down to voting, campaigns and political gridlock.
  • And I am certainly bedraggled by the hounding about “family” in our society, while we simultaneously have entertainment and shows portraying the relationship as detrimental or even destructive.

You and I have one responsibility: stop bitching about what we’ve got and try to turn it into something more.

Because quite bluntly, if we don’t understand that this is the mission of human life … we will end up leaving behind much less than what we were given.