The idea that the Peter Principle happens as you simply grow older and society "promotes" you to a level beyond your competence is a novel one.
The Peter Principle states a promotion to incompetence happens because you are good at your current role and so you're promoted to the new role, but what the author is hinting at is that for some societal functions _it just happens_.
Is it real, or is it another example of imposter syndrome?
My Father has asked me to do some paperwork around a living trust for when the inevitable happens to him and his wife. It has prompted some reflection: I'm unfortunately going to be one of those people who has to make the arrangements for dying parents soon.
I find myself thinking about attics that will need clearing, paperwork that will need organising, distant family that must be contacted, and all at a time that I will want to curl up in a ball.
I question if I can do that competently. I am confident I can be "the guy" others look to in a work-based crisis - a P1 costing us thousands in lost revenue a minute? I can handle that.
But the societal living things that "adults" do that young adults never have to do is a little more onerous.
Can I go back to being a regularly drunk 25 year old please? Take this home contents insurance paperwork and blood pressure medication away, give me some Jaeger-bombs and no memory of getting home, thanks.
Good luck to us all...
> I question if I can do that competently.
Well. I had that ball thrown to me some three years ago, when my father passed away. Although he was not quite well some time before that I didn't expect that to happen, as the doctors expressed a much positiver outlook.
So it came quite as a (bad and sad) surprise. Having to organise that from some 450 miles afar was hard as well. I was lucky to have a significant other that supported me and researched everything there is to do in the first few days, while I was taking the train back home.
Also I was lucky to have an employer that enabled me to take some days of on such a short notice. Non the less - the process (including selling the home I grew up in) took time. Was stressful and hard at times. But also the returning memories while clearing out my father's home were (as sad as they were) something I am greatful for.
There was one moment I remember as if it just had happened. On Christmas Eve, when the festivities began and my former self got called to sit below the tree and unwrap my presents, the call was made with a small silver bell attached to a small wooden stick. The sound of it totally forgotten in my mind. When we were cleaning out the house my significant other's mum, helping did ring the bell. I instantly got transported back to my childhood by that sound and instantly welled up. It was such a sad moment and at the same time filled with joyful memories.
There were lots of such moments. Sad but cherished non the less. I still miss him dearly every day of my life. Especially when I want to share something I did or achieved. These moments still are hard on me.
The guy at the morgue let me know he (and I suppose others in his line of work) will help people through the process of creating a will and so on. I'd parrot his recommendation that people should put their affairs in order long before they expect anything to happen, it just makes everything much smoother, especially if there are any familial disagreements.
He had everything. I mean everything prepared. There was a folder at his work desk at home that had in it:
* His Obituary already prepared - I just needed to fill in the date of his passing away.
* All noted what I needed to tell the funeral parlor
* All noted for the minister (down to every song he wished)
* A personal note, that he loves me and will kiss me, when we meet again on the other side (right now even thinking about that makes my eyes water)
* All necessary for the bank to transfer ownership/control of his funds
* Some other stuff already organized
I just needed to contact the relevant people and already had a playbook of what to do. I was able to get all done and had time to grief.
FWIW I'm still at a point in life where death is just an occasional, fleeting thought, but now I'm thinking that going 'over the top' like your father might be worth doing. If I were to die unexpectedly I'd very much like my family to have access to all my files (I encrypt the shit out of everything), to know things I never told them, and to be able to grieve without having to worry too much about the 'practical' matters. Thanks a ton for your comment (assuming I interpreted it right)!
So remembering that he did not want me to go through the hassle while grieving. So he prepared. And as he always prepared over the top - he had a tendency to be more then perfect in such things. A little OCD. ;-)
Even if he was so not OCD in nearly every other aspect.
So yes - it was over the top. But it was so unbelievable helpful.
> Thanks a ton for your comment (assuming I interpreted it
Yes you did.
I’m not 100% sure what he meant by that, but I find that every few months the way I see the world almost completely changes. I’m more accepting, calmer, less inclined to get into heated debates over opinions, when people exhibit “crazy” behavior I actually kind of understand where they’re coming from. I hope that’s growth, and I hope that never stops.
But yeah, I’m 32 now, and I’m like damn some people are raising children at this age now. My uncle was in his early 30s when he adopted me and we fought a lot. Now I get it, because at this point in my life I feel like I couldn’t possibly raise a child with wisdom and assertiveness and patience.
Some people at around 40 go "I was such an idiot at 20! now I know exactly what's going on"... without realising that they'll probably look back in another 20 years and think the same (I say this as a 42 year old dunce). I see the fractal parent of this in larger society - always looking back at the past and mocking how foolish people were. Every generation was more stupid than the one that came after it, their theories more ridiculous - right up until us. Finally we have it all worked out. Phew!
For any given task X that needs doing, you can either do it because it needs doing, only do it when tightly supervised, or not bother someone else will take care of it. Where X could be anything, go to the gym, raise children, a job or business, politics, all manner of things.
No amount of drive alone (which is what you're talking about) will fix it.
They are the folk who have not just survived the deep sea, but come out the other side with minimum damage.
These people exist just like people who have summited mountains exist. You can't fake that shit. And you'll automatically know them when you see them.
I mean, I am not judging people for doing it. Not at all. It's a good way to get to know oneself better!
Being an adult however is a battle you have every day.
I bet you'd get a similar answer from psychologists mostly because well adjusted people tend to not visit them.
Add a smidgen of bias in remembering and setting affecting the confessions, here's your full picture.
You're also making a selection bias, assuming people that see a psychologist are not well adjusted. It's equally possible that only well adjusted people seek psychological consult, while others are sublimating their problems.
I don't necessarily agree with that conclusion either, but I think it's worth pointing out. Especially when discussing emotional maturity.
> If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.
We're all imperfect beings.
The older I get (am 40 now) the more I tend to believe in the "faking it" part.
I'm 22 and I feel like it's really tuff. Tuff because of: Cultural pressure, worldly illusions that lead to false thinking, living in a productivity-oriented time where inner cultivation and inner peace are overlooked, realizing that inherently there might be no meaning to anything whatsoever and trying to live with that and think through that, etc. But even with that, I think all is well but it's a bit tuff.
Depressingly correct. You are very intelligent to have realized this at 22 and please, never forget it. We live in times where you have to actively make space and time for your inner cogwheels to run in peace. Without that, you will be depressed and stressed out your entire life.
I don't want to put a tinfoil hat but from the outside it kind of looks like we are all treated as worker bees with zero desires and needs for leisure time.
BTW: having Jäger-bombs from time to time (rarely!) is a very good way to keeping you young! ;)
But there's no accounting for taste. We have liverwurst in Germany, after all ;)
Not defending it, just pointing it out :)
TL;DR the ROI in terms of drunkenness is what makes people gravitate towards it in their youth, and that's IMHO the context of the nostalgia.
Three months of monthly B12 injections later and I feel five years younger!
Summary: get checked-up every now & then, or if you experience any sudden change in your health.
My late friend Stan Ulam used to remark that his life was sharply divided into two halves. In the first half, he was always the youngest person in the group; in the second half, he was always the oldest. There was no transitional period.
I realize how right he was. The etiquette of old age does not seem to have been written up, and we have to learn it the hard way. It depends on a basic realization, which takes time to adjust to. You must realize that, after reaching a certain age, you are no longer viewed as a person. You become an institution, and you are treated in the way institutions are treated. You are expected to behave like a piece of period furniture, an architectural landmark, or an incunabulum.
It matters little whether you keep publishing or not. If your papers are no good, they will say, "What did you expect? He is a fixture!" and if an occasional paper of yours is found to be interesting, they will say, "What did you expect? He has been working at this all his life!" The only sensible response is to enjoy playing your newly-found role as an institution.
We set up stereotypes and expectations which while generally accurate (when tuned, and they take a long time to tune), are not accurate in particular.
People mature at very different rates after all.
The main sociobiological difference over time is conservatism and reflex, which are not set in stone either.
— Skateboarder Jay Adams, 1961-2014
I am nearing 40 and recently took up skateboarding.
Naturally before I did so I searched for, “Am I too old to start skateboarding?”, fully expecting the result to be “yes!” and wondering whether or not I would let that stop me. I came across this profile of Neal Unger, a (now) 60+ year-old man who took up skateboarding in his late 50s:
YouTube is full of videos of skaters in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, and it encouraged me to give it a shot.
It's been interesting to experience the reaction from friends, family, and strangers when I told them I skate, or when I skate in groups of younger people (they are almost always younger, unless they're the folks running the skate shop/park).
My conclusion is the same as Pamela Druckerman's in her piece here: grown-ups don't exist. Your body will age, you will be more conscious of your mortality, society will judge you or ignore you, and that transition can be really tough.
But you can flip the “age out of wunderkind” feeling she mentions — you can use the “don't care what you think” attitude that often accompanies getting older to question the status quo and do the things you want to do anyway. As you age you can become remarkable not just for the things you have done but for the things you decide to continue doing — or the things you decide to start doing. Suppressing your ambition and confining yourself to a subset of the activities that were once available to you because you feel older or because “old people don't X” feels like a sad way to live.
A few years ago I started skateboarding again to keep in shape for snowboarding in the summer. I'm writing this from bed as I'm recovering from an ACL replacement due to a fall I took skateboarding at that time.
I agree with the "do what you want to" sentiment but sports like skateboarding are a matter of when you'll get injured, not if. And those injuries have an impact on other things you might want to do. So be careful.
Falls aren't any more frequent riding XC than on a road bike. I'm about to turn 40 and I much prefer the flow of good singletrack over tarmac any day.
- Sharing roads with fast heavy vehicles at speed.
- The expense. A good road bike seems to cost ~10× more than a great skateboard or longboard (but about the same as an electric longboard).
- Friends who've had big crashes on the road; intuitively it feels like it should be safer than mountain biking, but I'm not so sure.
Carefully plot your routes.
No need for that bs, a t-shirt, jeans and good shoes are all you need.
> The expense. A good road bike seems to cost ~10× more than a great skateboard or longboard (but about the same as an electric longboard).
You can buy great used bikes for relatively little money. I just bought a top of the line roadbike that's a bit older for $200 which I used regularly, another for $150, which I converted into a hometrainer:
Don't fret about the quality of the bike, until you reach competition level it is totally unimportant. I regularly pass people on much better bikes with all the goodies and just yesterday I in turn was passed by someone in at least their sixties on a bike that was much older than mine and I wouldn't have been able to catch him no matter how hard I tried. The bike rarely matters.
> Friends who've had big crashes on the road; intuitively it feels like it should be safer than mountain biking, but I'm not so sure.
I've crashed pretty hard about 2 years ago. It was my own fault, riding a recumbent on a regular road. Still, I got lucky, broke my leg badly but nothing else.
If you do go for competition cycling then maybe it is worth it to you to spend the extra $ but for the most part it seems to me that people just love to have an excuse to spend their $ to look like they are professional athletes.
Their bellies usually tell a different story, but fortunately for them lycra seems to stretch really well ;)
The only time I've had chafing issues was when doing a circle around the 'IJsselmeer' in one day. That was bad. But I was also peeing green and out for the count for the next day so enough time to heal up :)
Just need to find somewhere to store a road bike along with the skis, skateboards, snowboards, and mountain bikes now…
Another thing, if you're shopping for bikes is to check for new-old-stock, sometimes you can get crazy discounts on bikes that are only one or two years old thanks to the 'fashionista's' who wouldn't be caught dead on a bike that isn't of the latest model year and in the latest colors.
I don't road bike but AFAIK the cheapest way to have a bike that weighs one pound less isn't hyper-expensive materials but diet based weight loss about a month ago. In the spirit of the old weight lifting joke, or maybe wisdom, that illegal steroid use might make you look like you have an extra year's lifting experience while causing significant medical problems, and in that context the medically safest replacement for illegal steroid use that gets you to the same place without any medical danger is simply to start lifting one year earlier, and a lot of money is made in the market convincing people that patience is not an alternative.
Not using your body into old age also carries risks, of course, but I accept there are safer ways of staying active than skateboarding. (Am also a skier and snowboarder, so doing it for much the same reasons as you. Hope you heal up ok!)
Skateboarding is dangerous, but at least on a ramp or bowl, there aren't cars that can kill you in an instant, and (unlike surfing or snowboarding) where you are riding is mostly predictable and under control.
And, yes, no illusions about becoming Bucky Lasek (45) or Tony Hawk (49); I started way too late to go pro and have other things I'm good at. It's about fun, fitness, friends, and cutting down journey times on foot for me.
And I agree, know many skateboarders my age who have had knee ops. So far I've been OK, but I know it's only a matter of time.
When I was younger, I would over-train, recover quickly, repeat (I run, weight train, cycle).
Now, I don't heal so fast. Instead, I try to maximize my strength and fitness while simultaneously minimizing injuries.
At this age, I look at it as a fun constrained optimization problem. So, the added intellectual challenge, required to be physically active while aging, I quite enjoy.
Best wishes to heal soon and be back on the board!
what are those other things? i hope i don't get injured so i can keep playing sports - not dancing or walking around paris or etc. seems circular
It also helps to see others normalising skating as a commuting form — I'd guess 1/3 of Casey Neistat's videos feature skateboards, longboards, and their electric variants. (He is 37.)
I was tempted by longboarding, but bought the skateboard because they're easier to trick, carry, and stash. I can see myself buying a longboard eventually too, though…
So I wonder if starting in your 40s is better because you never knew what your body was capable of in your teens and early 20s, so that depression doesn't kick in.
Though I find there's some truth in the article, the author is generalizing a very private experience, something that I find a bit irritating. It bases on how other people see her (madame instead of mademoiselle), while it's clear that it all depends on you. I don't like the mild sense of ending that pervades the article.
I also really miss the excitement and novelty I felt about things when I was younger. I look at my kids, how the smallest things are so fun and exciting for them. Now so much just feel like so much like "been there, done that". If If watch a movie, it all feels so predictable. If I travel, there doesn't seem like anything ever seems fresh or new anymore.
Perhaps because the world has become more similar. You can buy the same stuff anywhere in the world and the same chain stores are all over the world.
It also feels like I haven't quite followed up with expectations. When I visit the homes of parents of my kids playmates, their houses look so proper and serious. I feel I can't have people on visit because I still got half assembled 3D printers and robots in the living room. I feel like somebody who doesn't really want to grow up, but everybody is pushing me in that direction, even myself in the sense that I can't feel the same geek appreciating for technology. Technology feels less and less exciting and more like tools with a purpose. They have no intrinsic value as novelties or coolness.
Strangely I seem to care way more about people than technology. Do other ex-geeks/present geeks feel this way? Like tech stuff just isn't as interesting anymore. You get more interested in people? I think it is more fun to teach technology or write about it now, than actually doing it.
But excitement and novelty? Every day. You get more discerning in what you do, but there's plenty of interesting stuff. And yes, people are more interesting than tech - they're slightly less predictable.
You might want to question why you litter your living room with it if it doesn't feel interesting, though.
FWIW, for me the 40s were about defining who I really am. It's taken a lot of work, but it's given me so much freedom. I know who I am. I don't need to prove myself anymore. I don't need to do things because other people tell me I'll like them. I can make decisions knowing they rest within my values, not pushed by external sources.
It sounds like you're starting to look at that question, too. I'd recommend doing it with professional guidance (therapist/life coach/priest/whathaveyou), it's easier that way.
Health concerns are greater, most of us have at least one new-ish permanent/cyclical ailment.
The only way I feel like I can recapture youthful novelty is some kind of drug (beer, legal cannabis, psychiatric meds, etc), or certain kinds of physical/mental exertion.
Agree hugely that technology is less exciting and more simply tools, each with lots of complex tradeoffs. An interesting project is only about the tools until you can (as quickly as possible) stop thinking about them to focus only on the project. Projects are life.
People are the best projects, because they become 'new project spawn points' (and also for other reasons, heh). When you meet someone who is willing to continually work with you in exploring balanced mutual space to amuse and learn from/with each other, it's golden. Then you can take those skills back to refresh older relationships. We help each other grow, improve, recover and/or adapt, and when the shit hits the fan, nothing else matters more. Everything we love most in life requires other people in some way, they are the source of our core energy, our best protection and more.
Yes! I think there is so little that is truly new, at some point you've "seen it all". It just gets relabled / repackaged over and over again. And the fact that most tech work is ultimately for some boring business goal. Real life and the people in it are way more interesting.
Well, they might be called "monsieur" in a French Cafe, but it is in the relation with youger ones that the difference arrives, even for men.
The tone used changes, so being a man and being called a "sir" with a different tone, followed by a different look , also makes you remind that you're over 40. Or when younger ones offer to help you (!) with a mobile (!!) or even how to open a door with one of those "security" mechanisms, like contact card or something like that (just because you tried to tap someplace and the sensor, actually, was 2 inches further to the left).
Those small punches of realitty, remembering that some people see you as some "old man" can be disturbing.
Yeah, this isn't true. Young men are called "jeune homme" in cafés and such.
And then when you get older there comes a time when you're called "jeune homme" again, in a weird sarcastic-but-kind way. You will hear very old men be called "jeune homme" all the time, and then everyone laughs. Apparently it's a joke that never gets old.
(Source: am French).
And I've heard it said to older people like you did.
I actually don't think I've been called "monsieur" at cafes in my 20s. That came later.
I like disco music, a lot. I also like easy listening music from the 1960's, a lot.
Football is incredibly boring.
So there :-)
Another lover of metal, who only follows European football. Still in my 20s though.
Me being more of a Floyd/soul/electronica aficionado.
Some of these replies are overthinking it a bit.
If you're in your 40's then you were a child of the 1980's. A time period where metal (in its various flavors) was the dominant form of young white music for those escaping country or Top-40. It was also the period of time in which the Super Bowl emerged as a true cultural phenomenon in the U.S., and the NFL began surpassing baseball in television ratings.
Its going to be interesting both financially and culturally. For several decades football viewership average age has gone up about 6 months per 12 calendar months. NASCAR has it worse, they essentially have no youth viewers and no new viewers and their average age goes up almost exactly one year per calendar year. A lot of money and real estate is going to change hands when pro sportsball viewers literally die off. For various public financial reasons ESPN is already not long for this world, for example.
(Also, even though I've been here for a long time, freeways are called the. As in I take the 101 north to San Jose. But that is a wholly separate argument. :D)
Do I have to grow 40 to realize that life is unfair and finite, happiness is a choice and that I may, in fact, have my own opinion?
I love metal and going to symphonies and I really loved the SF symphony and Metallica.
I also love football, hockey, and F1, but I'm a very competitive guy and just love competition in general, like the Olympics etc. As I grew older I like these sports more as I discovered the coaching and game playing side of things. Seeing a team outplay a physically more talented team is gratifying or watching Ferarri/Redbull/anyone beat the superior silver arrows. The underdog stories are delightful to watch when they happen.
Doing rec sports, board games, video games, poker, laying down more mulch when helping a friend, growing better flowers, code golf, and obviously trying to build a better product than our competitors in software. If something can be measured or has a "finish line" I want to "win" it. When I am "defeated" I want to better myself for the next time.
I enjoy watching sports the same way I enjoy every tech talk by the almighty Carmack. Seeing someone at the top of their game has appeal to me
I am reminded again that NYTimes editors are not above resorting to exploiting clickbait headlines.
THERE IS NO HOW-TO GUIDE
You arrive, disoriented, at "real adulthood" and realize you don't have THE answers, and also that no one else does either
By your 40s most people are set in stone in their ways. I'm sure I'm no different even though I try to be as flexible as I was in my 20s. Easier said than done though.
I thought it was a well written piece worth reading.
I am becoming less and less likely to click through to any of their content since I don't like being lied to by anyone on the Internet, especially a news organization.
"Shooting An Elephant" (by Orwell) is, too, very disappointing if approached as a how-to guide
The instructor, in her 30s, encouragingly exclaimed "ooh, you're doing very well for someone nearly in their 50s"
I'd never felt so old in my life :(
When I’m feeling salty I will buy two bags or a 20lbs bag of food just so I can throw 60-80 lbs in my shoulder and strut out of the store.
> ... But what unsettles me most about the 40s is the implication that I’m now a grown-up myself. I fear I’ve been promoted beyond my competence.
I struggled with this in my last software development position. Most of the developers I worked with were in their 20s. They just assumed because of my age, I was a 'senior' developer / all knowing and capable of coding circles around everyone.
But I'm only an average developer, as I get older I learn & gain wisdom but don't feel automatically more productive writing lines of code. Maybe I make less mistakes so that translates to productivity. Yet, I struggle with the software written by younger and probably smarter people - less experienced - but who managed with great intellect to get garbage working our of sheer willpower + brute force.
If you're older and wiser, you can outperform less experienced people by careful consideration of what you should do and how best to do it. Brains over brawn.
Moreover, the assumption that the wisdom of age can outperform the speed of youth is simplistic and as much based on cultural tropes as empirically fact.
Oddly enough, this is an advantage in life that combat soldiers have that most modern people don't. Once you get to know and like somebody and they die -- right in front of you -- it changes you. Do that a dozen times and you realize that nobody's getting out of here alive. It's just a matter of when you punch your ticket.
I don't fear death like I used to. I think about what having a "good death" means: how I want to experience my last days. I also find that reminding myself of my imminent death is a good way to stay focused on my mission.
Put differently, when I was younger all I thought about was myself. Now that I'm older and have watched people come and go, I realized that for all intents and purposes, I never existed. I'm just here an extremely brief moment to hang out and see some stuff. To the universe, I'm like a gnat. (I half-joke with my friends and tell them I'm an anti-solipsist. It's more true than joke)
Combine that with the second great truth about life, dying is one of the most natural processes there is. Everything dies. No matter who can think of, they've either already died or are about to die. It is no more unusual than breathing. Or sleeping. From the outside, it looks like some people do it well and some poorly.
These two things are not depressing as long as I keep my focus outside myself. What have I decided my mission in life is? How's that mission going? Who am I helping? How can I help them better today? You stop looking at yourself and start looking out in the distance, the rest of this stuff is motivational, not depressing.
ADD: One of the implications of this line of thinking is that people in pre-industrial societies, where there were large families, lots of exposure to death growing up, and perhaps a more solid external value system instilled in childhood? They may have had a much better opportunity at a happier life early on than we do.
Considering how much time and energy was devoted to ideological systems centered on denying the finality of death, I have a feeling they didn't have any healthier an attitude towards it than we do.
Though, having dealt with a number of dying patients and their families, it would be great if people in the US could at least get past the denial stage and accept that dying is a real thing. It's not giving up, it's not failure, it's not whatever; it's the way we all end up.
It's mortality and fragility of closed ones that I have difficulty dealing with. An unexpected death last year really made me aware how relatively few times I am likely to still see my mother on our current 2-3 weeks schedule. Even optimistic hopes put this number in only few hundreds.
(I am a programmer btw.)
Investing in not giving a shit one day even if you don't want to work for 2 years straight is in my eyes something I can't put a price tag on -- it's invaluable!
That being said, nowadays I always have money on the side -- either to have work pauses (like right now exactly) or be able to go on impulsive vacations with my woman.
Also you start to hear about people in your own generation who passed early. Distant, if you’re lucky, but close enough that you will hear about it.
And your kids will make you feel old each morning at 5am.
The word that appears a lot in the hebrew texts that they translate to "40" didn't actually mean that in context. It should more be translated to "gazillions". It was a word that just meant "an unimaginably huge amount". That's why it shows up so much in biblical things.
Funnily enough, the author notes exactly that, without making the connection that it was probably also what was meant in the bible.
I just turned 53, and the thesis the author finally makes resonates with me. In your 40s, you are "done". You aren't finished. It's not that you can't change your life and do wonderful things. It's that a great degree of mystery and worrying about your future has now concluded. When you're 20 and think about doing some incredible thing, it's almost like it's a different person, perhaps some super-cool version of yourself. When you're 50 and think about doing an incredible thing, it's you. You know who you are.
It's much better at 50 than it was at 30, oddly enough. For me, my mid-20s through my late 30s was a bit of a struggle.
There is one major downside to pushing past 40: prejudice and patronizing by young people. It's natural in your teens to turn to your peers for validation and for it to start being terribly important who the cool kids are. For a lot of people in their teens, twenties, and beyond, they look at older folks and the major feeling that comes across their face is "You're not really hitting on much, are you grandpa?" You can see it in their looks, you can hear it in their voice. It's not everybody, mind you, but it's enough to notice.
My stepdad was a WWII vet, a cranky old guy. I loved him. But I realized after getting to know him for many years that he avoided younger people. It wasn't that he didn't like them. He liked sharing ideas and discussing things with everybody. He just had better things to do than put up with their patronizing prejudicial bullshit.
When I finally figured it out, it didn't make sense to me. Now that I'm on "the other side", so to speak, I can see where he's coming from. I don't agree with his decision, but it's understandable.
Still, overall, after 40 life sort of opens up again, like it did in your teenage years, only this time you don't have all the psychological baggage you had back in the day. I'm looking forward to seeing where all of this goes!
I also remember when young people began to address me as "Monsieur" when asking for time/directions/whatever, I instantly felt old so it's kind of the same when you're male.
I'm a man who is now 32 years old. I honestly feel the same in quite a few regards. Certainly I don't feel grownup, or old. When people call me the local equivalent of "mister" I'm surprised.
But in the end all of this doesn't really matter. One needs to make the most out of every day no matter how old one is.
I also lost 15 kg last year without real efforts and am biking again to work for now 4 years.
I am happy to be experienced and pass this wisdom to my children. I am also happy to cheer up when they succeed (or yell at them when they behave like idiots).
It is just that I feel that I am the essence of pure brilliantism (if there is such a word, derived from brilliant), with a lot of humility on top :)
I have never been so good that in my late 40', even if there are pills to swallow and my elbow hurts.
It is very hard to filter out your experiences in regards to one aspect of yourself.
An example of this that i have found in my life is people taking a group they think they are a part of, Then assuming that they understand how everyone in that group thinks.
A common example of this being some men thinking they can talk for all men in general. Or some women talking like they understand how all other women think.
You have to remember and remind yourself that mirror neurons reflect others in terms of you and your experiences. This is valuable for quick thinking on the spot but should not be the only mode.
Sometimes this can be useful, to notice things introspection had a blind spot for.
The French would not consider it a downgrade but a term of deference and respect. They don’t think about age like Americans do. Look at Macron and his wife, he was 15 and she 39 when they met.
Edit: we went to the same high school. I wonder if she had madame softley for French...
That should answer how to survive in your 40s.
1. I should act like I am going to live forever, take more risks and do not dwell on the inevitable shortness of my existence
2. I should not act like I am going to live forever, I should take more care of myself and value each day for the small precious gem that it is.
Which one does the Mahabharata suggest is the better interpretation, or should I hold both in my mind at the same time?
With age you are also more able to let ambiguities be ambiguities, because you do no longer feel pressed in finding new insights all the time, except when you are.
Strictly speaking, you're right. Mademoiselle is for unmarried women, and Madame for married women. It's like Miss vs. Mrs in English. But for some reason, there's this assumption that older women are married, and younger ones are not, or something along these lines,