Last year when I turned 29, I decided that I needed to embark on the “Road to 30”. I had all sorts of random things that I thought I needed to have figured out and dealt with by the time I turned 30. I don’t remember them all now, but I know that I failed to accomplish most of them. I have realized that in the grand scheme of things, whatever was on that list was pretty unimportant.
At 30, I feel like I may be finally getting a reasonable grasp on life, even during a year in which everything is turned upside-down. Through many continuous deep conversations with my wife, and the assistance of the enneagram, I feel like I am truly beginning to really understand who I am, what I think, and why I feel the way that I do. I consider that a wonderful accomplishment.
Last night at the end of my birthday, we watched the movie “Christopher Robin”. At one point in the movie, Pooh gets a red balloon. It makes him very happy but then it gets trapped outside the train and he is sad. The adult Christopher Robin declares that it’s not important, and that his briefcase is much more important than a red balloon.
But to Pooh it wasn’t.
It’s an absolutely beautiful example of how we need to live our life with one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood. I never want to lose sight of the fact that there are very small beautiful and fascinating things in this world that we skip over in favour of other “adult” things that don’t actually help our lives as much as we think they do.
It’s this reason exactly that I embrace my curiosity as much as possible. There are times (like this morning) when I will stop everything to go stare at a snail that has crawled up my patio door. Or those times when I will be excitedly talking to my wife about the latest thing that I have discovered and she is staring at me blankly, overwhelmed by my sheer exuberance.
One time on vacation in Florida, we went to Nasa and I just stood there captivated by the Space Shuttle Atlantis. It just hung there, perfect and literally “awesome”. I stared so intently at it, taking in every curve, scrape, bump, and burn mark in the hull. I tried to imagine it re-entering the atmosphere. I don’t think I have ever appreciated any object more than the Space Shuttle. While I stood there staring in fascination, Andrea walked around the entire building reading everything and finally made her way back to me. I was still in the same place. She grabbed my arm and started pulling me away. I slowly started walking with her, but my eyes didn’t leave the Shuttle. I was captivated. I could have stayed there forever.
I love being fascinated in the things that I do and what is around me. I love taking the time to explore the unique things that most people ignore, and I love taking an interest in the people around me that are all so different and unique. We all have unique fascinations and I like being the person that takes an interest in all of them, celebrating and encouraging each person in my life to continue exploring & adventuring.
As long as I keep holding onto this feeling of utter fascination and discovery, taking the time to appreciate the small things in life, I think the “Road to 40” is going to be pretty great.
Here’s a video of me playing with dry ice today as an example of how not to let any curiosity go to waste: https://streamable.com/190yee