Following up on this, I decided that I needed to determine what matters to me and my life so that I can try to do something every day to feel like I am living the life I want to live. This is in no particular order and I will likely ramble a bit as I am working these out in my own head.
I want to be useful. The realistic part of my brain says I should be content with being useful to anyone; friend, family, stranger. The ego wants me to be useful to the world. I want to be able to step back at the end of my life and have provided something to the world to make it a better place in some way. I do not need to cure cancer or write the next great novel, but I want to be able to point at something that I did and have someone say, “thank you for that.”
My “job” does not provide anything like that for me at this point. Do I get satisfaction from my work? Sometimes, but is a very shallow way. What I do for a living is build websites. Pixels on a screen that so not provide the world with anything of value. If all the work that I did over the past ten years was gone this instant, it would not matter. Heck, most of the work I have done over the past ten years is already gone and I have nothing to show for it.
My head is too filled with noise and so what matters is finding some quiet in my own brain and in the world at large.
I feel I need to explain this some, but am having difficulty in breaking it down. I suppose one item is the literal noise of life. I live an area of the U.S. that is relatively well populated. Not nearly as densely so as some areas, but enough so that it is a real challenge to get away from people and the sounds of the world around me.
I live in a tightly packed neighborhood and can hear the sounds of other people’s lives all around me at all times. There is a major road within spitting distance. There are pets begging for attention; inane conversations held over the phone where no one can keep their voice down; gas-powered lawn tools; motorcycles and trucks; just stuff always happening.
Then there are the other distractions; the other noise of life. Email notification; text messages and phone calls; advertisements; visual clutter of road signs and billboards; endless pieces of mail.
I am tired of it all.
I want to live a simpler life. Many of the items that I listed above that contribute to the noise also contribute to the general complexity of day-to-day living as well.
There are so many distractions and so many ways to get instant gratification that just turning off for a while is almost impossible.
My health is very important to me and yet once again it is something that has become increasingly difficult to deal with. So many people including myself have issues dealing with weight. Even something that should be as straight forward as eating has now become so complicated that from day-to-day I feel as if no one knows how to do it right anymore.
Family always matters and this is one of the few areas where I am doing ok. My family is close and we get along well enough. Everyone is willing to lend a hand when needed.
My main regret at this stage is that I do not have a family of my own. I have no kids and no one in my life to share my successes and failures with. I try, but once again this process has become so hopelessly complicated.
My brain is almost always seeking out new sources of information and stimulation, but most of the sources are repetitive and trivial. I want to learn new things, but I also want to be able to understand them as well.
There are other items that I will probably add to this list later.
Next I am going to figure out what to do with this information.