I have, over the last few weeks, started to bake bread on a semi-regular basis. It’s so much easier than I had expected, at least for the simple bread I’m baking. Just a handful of cheap ingredients, some time to let them do their thing, then bake, and you’re done. I’m sure it seems woefully pedestrian to anyone who bakes on a regular basis, but it feels like magic to me. I get as giddy as a kid before their birthday party when the dough starts to rise. It feels like getting a new super-power, turning wheat, yeast, flour, salt, and water into bread.
I hope I never lose that feeling of delight from learning a new thing.
It’s like when I started playing with manual cameras or first figured out how to make a didgeridoo sounds come out of a didgeridoo or even eating cheese (yeah, I was a latecomer to that party). I’m in my mid…ok, late forties and I haven’t yet lost that feeling of wonder when I learn some new, silly skill or read something that makes the world make a bit more sense or come across something that someone else is doing that I never what have thought of but just seems so wonderful I’m describing my reaction to “Welcome To Night Vale,” in case you were wondering).
Don’t let all the political snark and frustration with Certain Web Sites fool you; I’m a pretty happy guy. Weirdly, I think I’m probably as happy as I’ve ever been. I don’t know why that seems weird, but it does. I don’t think about it too terribly much.
It helps, of course, to have someone with whom to share these new thrills, and who shares theirs with you. That is, in my none-too-humble opinion, the absolute best thing you can have in a partner. Having someone to ride the roller coaster with is a delight. Discovering something wonderful and looking to your side with “did you just see what I saw?!?!” in your eyes is as good as it gets, right?
This is, as you might expect, the oldest I’ve ever been and other than some pretty undeniable physical changes that I can’t say I enjoy, I’m finding this whole “older” thing to be a lot less bothersome than I’d expected. I reserve the right to change my mind at the drop of a hat, but so far? It doesn’t feel that much different than being in my twenties except for the fact that I’ve got quite a few more mistakes under my belt. Mistakes which, in theory, I’ve learned from.
So, anyway, if you’re somewhere further down the mountain and you happen across these breadcrumbs marking my trail, my message to you is simply “This whole life thing can still be a lot of fun if you’re open to it.” Cheers.