Waiting on Wisdom (My Silent Midlife Crisis, Part VI)

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In the end, only three things matter:  how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

Buddha

I love learning. In true full-blown nerd fashion, I try to absorb as much information as is humanly possible. I’m a big fan of non-fiction, listen and subscribe to a zillion podcasts and I can’t get enough news. I ask a lot of questions and I’m earnestly seeking answers in all things. Obviously, there’s both an upside and a downside to this approach.

Ingesting all this knowledge means that I can sometimes see interesting trends. For example, everyone’s talking about post-traumatic growth, grit and perseverance, and arguing about which “word of the year” deserves to be the actual “word of the year.” (Feel free to ask me about my personal favorite!) I have opinions on each of these subjects (and many more), but most recently, I’ve come across a lot of discourse on the seasons of life and living well—thus, this blog.

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought recently and I’ve come up with my own version of the seasons of life. Ancient philosophers divide life seasons into 25-year quadrants, but I’m not that particular. In fact, the realist in me knows that most of us won’t live to be 100 years old, so perhaps the quadrants are more like 20-year to 25-year intervals. Here’s what I’ve settled on:

  • education
  • action
  • purpose
  • wisdom

At age 47, I’m exiting the “action” season of my life and that feels about right. While I continue to be busy with family life, busy with career and starting a new business, and busy finding balance in all things…I feel like I’m looking for more. And I think that more is “purpose”. I want the things that I do and the areas that I spend the most time on to count for something. I want to know that my existence is benefiting others, even if it’s just my little corner of the world. I want to be a blessing and not a burden. I want to be deliberate in the choices that I make. I want to do all the right things, even if they’re also the hard things. I want this because I feel like it’s what will set me up for that fourth quadrant of life—wisdom.

To be perfectly honest, I’m waiting on wisdom. I have a million questions and maybe even a million more. Naturally observant, I want to know how things will pan out. I want to see if there’s actual fruit in the seeds that I’ve sowed. I want to know what I’ve gotten right and what I did wrong. I want to evaluate and reflect. On some level, I feel like for me, wisdom is going to equal peace. And that’s what I’m really after here.

Wisdom will lead you to a life of joy and peace.

Proverbs 3:17

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