I turn 40…in 12 months from now

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.

I know why I am unhappy. Is it so?

Photography is something that I love doing but when I fail to see a marked improvement in the quality of picture clicked, I am unhappy.

On August 16, the day after we celebrated our independence day in India, I visited Red Fort in Old Delhi for clicking some pictures. This was after a gap of 45 days post my 15 day trip to Leh. 

None of the clicks met the basic norms of a good photograph. The subject in my clicks was misplaced, framing was wrong and some were simply poor clicks even if they met the basic rules.

All if this is causing me unhappiness. But when I introspect in detail the problem is somewhere else. I list the reasons first that come to my mind (under the  assumption that I KNOW):

A. I am unhappy because I am not able to action on the initiative taken.  When I stepped out today morning to click, I knew that I am out to click but then at every instance of a potential frame or a moment that could be captured, I did not stop or wait to click.

B. I am unhappy since I know and very well remember my past mistakes but still hesitated to stop and  correct them. 

Comtinuing my experience of today morning, I hesitated at most moments to even take out the camera from the bag.

C. I am unhappy for failing to live upto the expectations built (within me) around my photography skills.

I felt today morning that its not a time sensitive hobby. You can never allocate 1 hour a day and still hope to click great photographs. 

D. I am unhappy since I am pursuing time conflicting hobbies. Cycling and photography both are best done early mornings or evenings around sunset.

E. I am unhappy for missing true and sincere appreciation. But then I know I don’t have a click that will call for appreciation.

My basic assumption that ‘I Know’ is more of a perception and far from being close to reality.

Because I don’t know why I like photography. Because I don’t know if its some other issue that is impacting my photography.

I don’t know if I was sincere enough in my efforts at photography. I don’t know if I am reasonable with myself while listing the reasons. 

I don’t know why I am NOT unreasonable with myself.