I'm a European man, single, aged 50; educated rather in the American tradition, which is often a source of conflict, both within and without. I'm often happy with the things I do in my life. I often feel fulfillment, because I know why I do what I do; and I often get confirmation that I bring value in the lives of very specific individuals around me. I'd love to see, one day, that I also bring value to some communities, but I'm patient—that day will come.
I also feel frustration, at times. Not all can be rosy all the time, especially when I focus so much of my time on matters of responsibility, accountability and transparency. For me, it's always sad to see when politicians don't understand democratic rituals or simply reject morals; to see when civic activists accept to put the truth to a vote; to see when civil servants and magistrates allow toxicity and/or abuse in the organizational culture of public institutions; to see when professionals of any "guild" place more value on solidarity than on propriety (of behavior, of decision-making).
In other words, I still wage all that I do and all that I am on dignity, liberty and integrity. I hope to gain wisdom from this wager, whose cost is quite taxing at times. Luckily, I have good friends, and they help me get over it. (Neah, I won't give you all the details 😛) I'm aware of times when I was feeling down, and they helped me see there was no reason to feel that way; or times when I felt overly elated or excited, and they helped me tone down, and get some sense in my head, and in my heart. I'm also confident there were times when I was not aware of my friends' helping me... I'm grateful for all these people, events, thoughts, feelings and things in my life. And for my father and all our family members, and their roles in our lives (most of them past, very few still present, yet scattered across the world).
I feel good! There was a time when I feared this age would feel like a burden. But it's no burden at all—if anything, it's wings: to lift the burden off other people's shoulders, to advance to another sunflower field, to blow the wind of change or even to ride it over the clouds and the mountains. Thank you. I love you ♥
photo source: personal archive; Sinaia, May 2021