Even the most healthy and optimistic will not want to live beyond 80 years. It’s pretty enough to live 80 years. So when I step into the 40th year of my life on Sept 29, a simple mental accounting suggests half of its over and half is still left.
In the second half of my life, I will gain many new things but then I will lose my parents forever. My daughters will be married to leave me alone. I will give up on my favorite hobby, cycling. I will give up on adventure trips that I made in past. I will no longer be promising, careless, carefree, reckless, spendthrift, cheering, energetic and loving. But then the remark , “You know, at some point people reach an age at which they no longer be considered ‘promising’. This was said by Daniel Kahneman ( a Nobel Laureate) to another great Economist, Richard H. Thaler. Richard writes in his book when he was turning 40, “I enjoyed being promising.”
In 20 years from now, I may be constantly reminded of imminent end to my life. Henceforth, I will also consider losses while attempting to make gains. I will weigh cons more while evaluating pros. But then I will also be called wiser.
All of this may sound very depressing and overwhelming but then that’s not the state of my mind when I write this. And this is so since I was seeing it coming several years back.
In 2012, I heeded to my wife’s advise to pursue my hobbies – cycling and photography. I saw it coming when I sensed inflexibility of my muscles on exercising. And I am doing well enough to cycle at average speed of 26 km/hr; at par with my speed in 20s.
I saw it coming when my looks were said to be that of ‘salt and pepper’. Today, ‘pepper’ color is no where on face except the eyebrows. I am told they turn salt in color late 70s. But then I never dyed my hair or beard so no shockers later, when I am too old to dye.
I saw it coming when my elder daughter turned 13. But then I also have a younger one who is just 6 years old. I saw it coming when I could title my CV with words starting, “More than 10 year experience….”. But then I also realized that I love taking decisions. And its better to have more than a decade of experience to be in contention for a leadership position.
I saw it coming when I had bouts of regret post being impulsive. But then its helping me in street photography. Its all about being impulsive and making most of an event that one is not in control of.
Irrespective of my age, I aim to travel the whole world one day.