peace & blessings,
it’s been quiet over this way, but life has been moving along. hoping to have some goodies to share with you in the coming weeks.
hold each other close these last few days of winter. the old man rarely goes out without a fight, but, inevitably, he must make way for spring.
in love & light,
The New Retirement Age Is Thirty by Paul Cantor
Growing up, assuming you came from a decent home, you probably watched your parents haul off to work every day so they could put food on the table, clothes on your back and a roof over your head. Or some variation of that theme.
But it probably never felt like your parents were stuck in an existential malaise, longing to run off so they could find themselves. They weren’t stricken with the “why me?” disease that it seems everyone under the age of 30 has now.
That’s because things were different then. Baby-boomers came of age at a time when the idea of having a job at all was a big deal. They stayed employed at their companies for long periods of time. By the late 90s, the economy was booming and companies took care of their employees. Having a career meant you were secure.
But in the past twenty years everything has changed. Kids now aren’t taught to find careers. They’re taught to find their ‘passions.’ Then they’re encouraged to pursue them.
Except the world doesn’t bend to everyone’s beckoning whim— it doesn’t really give a shit about your passion— because it needs people to do normal stuff like collect garbage, police streets, put out fires and process applications at the DMV.
Which makes it hard. Torturous, even. Here you were, told that you were awesome and that you wouldn’t have to settle for a life of mediocrity, and that’s all you’ve got. That sucks.
Years ago, when someone was a ‘creative,’ they were off in their own space. If they were successful, if they’d made it, you might have heard about them through word of mouth. Maybe you saw them on television or in a magazine.
But they weren’t posting on their Facebook feed, or updating their Twitter timeline, constantly telling you about their really cool life. They weren’t digitally showing you whatever it is they were working on while you were sitting in your lowly cubicle, making you feel like a failure.
Spectating has become a full-time job in and of itself— looking at other people’s LinkedIn pages, their Facebook page, their Wikipedia page— and now we judge ourselves too often by what we haven’t done, instead of what we have.
And so by age 30, if we haven’t done X, Y or Z, we’re left unfilled. There seems like there’s so much life out to be lived, and we’re called to it… whatever ‘it’ is.
The myth of entrepreneurship doesn’t help, either. The American fantasy that you too can make your dreams a reality, all you have to do is try.
But that’s not reality. Reality is that bills need to be paid and life has to be lived, and no matter what you’re doing these days, there is no respite. Your parents left an office at 5 PM and their work was over. It did not begin again until they walked in the next morning.
Now, it’s almost assumed that whatever it is that you’re doing, you must love it. Otherwise you wouldn’t be answering email at midnight and sleeping with your phone in your bed.
So as you get older, and have spent years plugged into this matrix where everything is work work work— where your mind is never able to turn off— you age a lot. Maybe not in physical years, like in the sense that you’re 60. But you’re 30 and you’ve somehow managed to squeeze double the amount of work into that period of time.
You’re old. Mentally.
Your parents didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing. Rest assured, they had dreams and goals just like you. But they may have been able to spend a few hours on the weekend or in the evening entertaining these pursuits. And they weren’t answering email in the process.
They certainly weren’t idle, watching what their old high school friends are doing, making themselves feel like shit in the process. Heck, they probably had to go to their office just to use a computer at all.
So being unsettled and wanting more out of life is not a millennial problem or a hipster problem or a ‘whatever new word marketers are using to describe young people’ problem. It’s really a problem of being ‘plugged in’ all the time, and never being given the freedom to shut off.
Because society has a problem with leisure. The idea of sitting around doesn’t sound sexy. Winners never quit. Go hard or go home. Always be closing. Or some shit like that.
You need a break. Just retire. Then start on something new. You may fail. But ultimately you’ll thank yourself later.
…the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Romans 4:17, NIV.
Just as God calls things that are not as though they were, we should also declare what we want to see in our lives. In other words, you may have days when you don’t feel well, but don’t go around saying, “Ah, my back has been hurting me. I’m getting so old. I don’t think I’m ever going to get better.” When you speak like that, you are speaking defeat into your future. Instead, turn it around. Declare a report of victory by saying, “I may not feel up to par, but I know it’s only temporary. God is restoring health to me. I’m getting stronger, healthier and feeling younger. My best days are still up ahead.”
Remember, you’re going to get what you call in to your life. You have creative power in your words, and you are prophesying your future. Declare what God says about you—call it like He sees it. Declare that you are blessed and cannot be cursed. Declare hope, life and victory over every area of your life!
Leslie Morgan Steiner was in an abusive relationship, though at first she didn’t realize it. In a talk at TEDxRainier, she tells the disturbing story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence or an absuive relationship, you can find a list of resources here. The U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE), and RAINN offers a secure online hotline.
The Temple of Seti I at Abydos, Egypt.
This temple consists of seven sanctuaries lined up in a row, each of which are dedicated to a different deity (the southernmost of these honours 19th Dynasty Pharaoh Seti I himself). The purpose for the construction of this building was to act as a funerary shrine for Seti I, as confirmed by the name of the building: "The house of millions of years of the King Men-Ma’at-Re [Seti I], who is contented at Abydos." Although he was actually buried in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, Seti followed the royal tradition of constructing a second funerary complex at Abydos -the cult centre of the Egyptian god Osiris.
The bas-reliefs of this temple are some of the best persevered from ancient Egypt, and many retain the original paint work. A classical, traditional style is evoked by the raised relief decoration carved under Seti I on fine white limestone.
From north to south, the temple is dedicated to the following Egyptian deities: Horus, Isis, Osiris, Amen-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Ptah. Seti restoring the worship of the traditional gods of Egypt after the Amarna period could explain this combined dedication. The aftermath of the Amarna period is also reflected in the "king’s gallery". This is a rather selective list of legitimate pharaohs from Egyptian history, with the names of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare and Tutankhamen excluded -as though erasing their reigns from recorded history.
The first photo was taken by Irene Soto, and the rest by Kyera Giannini, all courtesy the New York University Institute for the Study of the Ancient World via Flickr. When writing up this post, Kathryn A. Bard’s Encyclopaedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt (2005) was of use.