Now

Note: This page is inspired by Derek Sivers.

Joanne and I take care of our grandson Mason. We see him Monday through Friday during the school year. This is the most important thing I’m doing right now.

What a joy it is to once again see life through the eyes of a 2-year-old. I’ll never forget the look on his face the first time he stopped to stare at a tree. What a revelation it must have been.

Mason at 1, taking a bth
Mason loved baths from the get-go.

***

I increasingly see my life as a glowing blank page upon which I can write almost anything I want. Now that I don’t have to work for money, life feels spacious.

It’s like being age 18 again and seeing your whole life spread out before you.

True, I’m in a body that’s 50 years older. But still — how wonderful to have options.

***

Some of the major ideas currently knocking around in my head:

Mortality. My high school classmates recently held a belated 50th reunion. Out of 450 graduates, 70 of us have died.

The simple fact that I am still alive is not lost on me.

Cancer. In November 2021 I was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer. Bummer.

The good news: My plan is “active survelliance”: We’ll keep an eye on my condition to see if anything changes. At this point, the risks of treatment outweigh the benefits.

I feel fine — no different than I did before the diagnosis. And I am far from alone: In older men, prostate disease in some form is a given.

Life simply has an edge that it did not have before. Whatever happens, we will deal with it.

The question becomes: What does make possible? How can I use the experience of cancer? Some answers:

  • To change my behavior in ways that promote health. 
  • To pare down, focus, and say no more often.
  • To “walk the walk” and live the spiritual teachings that make sense to me. 
  • To savor the present moment. My new motto: When in doubt, drop everything and celebrate.

The future. I believe that I still have years to live. What will I do? Who will I be?

Making choices involves a delicate balance of action and reflection. We both create the future and let it emerge.

In What Am I going to Do With the Rest of My Life?, Robert Fripp captures it well:

Better not to ask the future to present itself if we’re not prepared to follow where it leads.
This future will have an unexpected quality.
If we impose our wants and hopes on the future, we prevent it from speaking to us