A Nomad Looks at 50

Tomorrow is my 50th birthday. I remain healthy and happily married after 18 years. I’m lucky because I haven’t suffered major health problems or divorce or struggle against depression or anxiety. My life hasn’t been as accomplished as Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, but I’ve lived longer. Mary and I have seen quite a bit of the world passing winters in Baja California, Santiago de Chile, Scottsdale, and Bucerias and summers in Vail, Santa Monica, Fort Collins, and Austin. We even made trailer trips to Southern California and the San Francisco Bay area!

I’m thankful for Wikipedia and other valuable info on the net, open source software such as WordPress that powers this blog, and the Amazon Kindle. The net has changed my lifestyle; when I was younger, I rationed my book budget, choosing carefully to gain knowledge, avoiding fiction. Now, I’m constrained only by time, which I value more than an extravagant lifestyle. At times, I splurge on fiction such as Cutting for Stone, which I enjoy more than driving a new car.

I haven’t made time to read Jimmy Buffett’s, A Pirate Looks at Fifty; I started reading it when my wife Mary turned 50. There are so many more books than time! Amazon sends special offers to me every day so my reading queue is 20 books. I’d love to be able to fly a small plane, like Buffett, but we sailed a Catalina yacht one winter in Baja.

I’m most thankful for my amazing health. I don’t need glasses even when reading; how long can this last? I can’t run a marathon but I can run a mile, more than I could run 25 years ago. I hope to run two miles by June. I’m leaner than I was in college and my back is stronger. When I was younger, I anticipated that by now I’d have given up strenuous sports and taken up golf. I’ve given up Rollerblading in favor of bicycling. Now I realize that not only can I continue to enjoy the good health that comes with hard exercise, it’s essential to my happiness. I haven’t played tennis often the last 5 years but I hope to return to it because it’s more enjoyable than other sports.

I’m eating better than ever thanks to Loren Cordain, author of The Paleo Diet, and blogger Karen De Coster, who introduced me to Cordain. I don’t follow the diet strictly because the human body can tolerate some abuse. I can lose weight whenever I chose by exercising two hours daily and eating mostly healthy food. There’s no need to run 5 or 10 miles; doing so might even be unhealthy because excessive exercise stresses knees and feet.

I’m glad to have an optimistic outlook. I perceive Against All Odds as a happy song because it celebrates the ecstasies of knowing someone really well and playing the black piano keys; others say the song is sad because the narrator suffered a great loss. As Monty Python says, “If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something I’ve forgotten.”

I’m glad to have the time to learn to write and program WordPress and hope to continue blogging until my 60th birthday or longer, producing more posts as my most popular. Blogging has become a lower priority lately as I’ve composed music using the open source Python programming language and Csound software synthesizer for signal processing and sound rendering. I’m also taking courses on Coursera because I want to be part of the revolution that pops the higher education bubble.

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