If you are over 4o CONGRATULATIONS. For those of us who have made it this far especially to middle age, we understand, if life has taught us well, the complexities of life are not so complex after all and the door to clarity opens our eyes wide to the new reality that has been before us, to our surprise, all along. It is ironic that we spend many years traveling, seeking, hoping, praying, trying and doing many things just to come full circle right back to where we started. The difference is now we KNOW. The journey to find ourselves ends where it starts. Had we listened more and not spent so much time making the same mistakes repeatedly we may have reached this pinnacle earlier but on the other end of that stick, had we NOT experienced many things we may have spent the rest of our lives wondering. Here are a few things that should be very clear to us at this juncture of our lives, if they are not and we are middle aged, we may have a not more to learn. Click NEXT to see the next segment above or below.
Everybody is Insecure
So much time is wasted trying to “fit in” and mid-life teaches us that EVERYBODY is insecure and strength (and WEAKNESS) really does come in numbers. Most people can’t be trusted to be who they SAY they are so a wise man never listens to what people say… he watches what they DO. You realize people do some pretty desperate things to fit in with the crowd and when they are alone they would not do the same thing. People like to follow the leader but the leader is not always a good person he or she is just an independent thinker which is often rare to find when we are younger which is why they are so revered. Once you hit Mid-Life, if you are lucky, you become an independent thinker.
Adages Come to Life
How many times have you heard as a kid from an older person “If I could be 20 again and know what I know now, I’d be dangerous” and probably very lonely too. The 20s is a time that many people think is the best decade in life and while you may LOOK your best the lessons are actually the hardest. It’s where you struggle the most, make the worst decisions, try stupid drugs or overindulged in alcohol, fall in love, get your heart broken and run into the wall many, many times and it’s the time that you want to prove your independence from your parents. I once heard a man say, “The older I get the smarter my mother gets” of course this was a black man since there was no father around. OK that was a dig but it is what it is and sometimes it is what it isn’t the lesson here is the older you get the more you understand the things your mother or some older person tried to drill into you.
Foresight was 20/20
Sometimes the decisions you make when you are younger are great ones you and you may not even realize it until 20 to 30 years later. For me, one of the BEST decisions I ever made was to diversify my skill set in the industry. I can do at least 10 different jobs, it’s like being a triple major in college. If you think back. I’m sure there is a sign of relieve that you can breath for a decision that you made early on.
Parents become the Children
Parents take care of children when they are small, there is 20 to 30 year break where the child becomes an adult and gets live his adult life then it’s time to take care of the parent(s). It’s the cycle of life. Now they listen to your advice, they depend on you to take care of them and they appreciate your love and loyalty in their time of need.
Good lord, this is a hard one. While it may not seem this way to others, I have wasted a LOT of time doing certain things that I knew the answer to WAY in advance and now I can never get the time back. I think everyone can attest to something that they have done that was a waste of their time and talent for whatever reason
- Ask them to help you move
- Loan them Money
Everybody has their own unique set of problems to deal with on a daily basis why do they need to hear about yours?
I like that title it make me laugh. What it means is we put our gut on “Mute” when we should have listened. Mid-Life shows us that there is ALWAYS a warning before a storm hits. I like to call it “The flashing Yellow Light.” Have you ever noticed that just about anything negative that has ever happened in your life you got some kind of advanced warning and ignored it? Usually the way things start is the way they will end up. So a rocky relationship will rarely be smooth and keeping company with people you don’t trust, which is always a feeling you get in your gut about them, is something that you should ALWAYS pay attention to. I have owned 6 Chow Chows in my life and one of them was SO keen, he would let me know when I was keeping company with the wrong people. He didn’t like them and he would bark at them and growl then sit in front of them and cast them a dirty look for the entire time I was around them, but he was a friendly dog (otherwise). He was ALWAYS right, I would later find out. I have noticed MOST dogs have this skill but we have it too we just ignore it way too many times. By the time we reach mid-life we understand how it is there to serve us.
Time is Valued
At this juncture of my life, I chose to spend my time very wisely. I rarely do anything that isn’t going to serve someone else, me or my loved ones. When I waste time, it’s still doing something creative or something that I greatly enjoy. We learn dot be more selfish with our time by doing things that make us happy instead of everybody else. When we think back, we have often wasted time with people, things, jobs and situations that were never going to work in our favor. Mid-Life teaches us the true VALUE of time. We must use it wisely to get the most out of it.
Accept your Faults
When we look back we realize that most of the things that we count as faults are something that someone else pointed out to us that we may not have even been aware of, we hold on to it and carry it into our young adult lives and work hard to hide it. What we fail to realize when we are younger is that this is the case with EVERYBODY. People can act perfect but they are not. Do your best and leave the rest.
Stop to Smell The Roses
I was making a joke to some friends one day about nature and the black community. We ignore nature and birds tweeting. Unless the bird’s tweets are getting on our damn nerves at which point we shoot it. Nature is not allowed in the ghetto. We crush worms with our new shoes ignoring the crunching sound because we are late for the party and we only water the grass with our piss. If we catch somebody smelling flowers in the ghetto we assault them. When was the last time you stop to REALLY look at a tree? You know, it’s that real tall plant on the street? Have you ever stopped to smell fresh cut grass or take a walk in rainforest? I have the answer hell no, black people don’t have time for nature unless we are forced to live in it. You would be AMAZED at how great it is to look at the sky chill on the beach. I can see somebody reading this right now saying “Kevin, I ain’t got no damn time to smell no fkn roses or deal with plants, I’m trying to cook my cabbage.” Well then stop by Home Depot and smell the roses in the damn garden department Just smell a rose before you smell 6 feet of dirt for good.
Realize Your Fortune
Some people like to say “I’m so blessed,” while they fight with the lighter that has no fluid left to reheat their crack pipe. You cannot be “blessed” when you do some of the most ratchet crap on earth, steeling credit cards, discriminating against people, having sex with somebody’s else man, wife or mother etc. You’re not “blessed” your LUCKY for now. Charma is a cruel and wicked bitch that will come calling when you do wrong…. so beware. Mid-life should have taught you better by now.
In the meantime if you are over 40 and still working in the music or radio industry you are truly OLD… no I mean you are blessed (lol). This game has become very harsh and it’s not easy to survive and thrive but the key is making sure yo make the most out of your 15 minutes.
Take less Crap
I don’t take any crap at this juncture of life, sometimes to my dismay. I shut up for the most part but when you get older you don’t have to take crap from anyone younger OR older and your self worth should be spoken for at this point so letting people run over you is not an option. (BTW: my next dog will probably be a bulldog but I hear they are very expensive, have a lot of health issues and they burp and fart a lot, so what’s the problem?)
Love is Give and Take
You will not have love until you are able to live it and give it. Gloraye Hallelue. Most of the people that I know who are alone have a LOT of work to do on themselves and they refuse to accept that so they will continue to be alone having jack fests for the next 20 years until their arms are numb. If you have not had SOMEONE, even the damn garbage man or a school bus lady make a move on you in the last 6 months you are doing something VERY wrong. At this point, even a homeless person flirting with you with no teeth should make your day. Stop blaming men or women or the world and take a look in the nearest mirror, people are attracted to what is attracTIVE. The problem is YOU… How do you look, how are you perceived, how do you treat others and how do you treat yourself. It’s never only about YOU it’s about BOTH of you and it’s about give and take not take, take, take or give, give, give.
Learn from Mistakes
Mid life is crucial in the INSTANT knowledge of a mistake and never to make it again. When we are 20 we can make a mistake 10 times before we finally leave it alone but when we are past 40 once is MORE than enough.
Cherish TRUE Friendships
There is something to be said when people believe in you to the point that they are willing to invest and it doesn’t always have to me money it can be time, advice, information, referrals, encouragement, trust, an ear, a critique, knowledge etc.. These are your BEST friends (or at least they are mines). I get a lot of emails from people from all walks of life about this blog telling me how much they love what I do and how hard it must be, I try to respond to everybody and while it’s not always easy I can honestly say I cherish these bits and pieces and because most people are too busy to pat another black person on the back. I try to reciprocate to industry people in kind. So we must not only cherish true friendships it is paramount that we love those who love us.
Accept the Faults of Others
This was a hard one for me for a long time, I have eliminated many potential relationships, friendships and business deals if there wast just one thing I didn’t like about the other person. For me TRUST is my first requirement. I can deal with a person’s irritable traits but I better trust you or you won’t be in my life or around me for very long. I am hardcore about this because I know that I can BE trusted. Everyone is not perfect, someone people just have a LOT of work but who doesn’t. Complaining is certainly something I don’t like and you probably don’t either so I found a nice medium in my study of psychology to apply when someone you know is irking you .. say “Ah man, sorry you feel that way” and change the subject. Keep doing this over and over and you would be amazed at how the person will finally stop.
Happiness comes BEFORE everything else
I saw this EXCELLENT video that explains we think happiness comes after something else. I will be happy when, I fall in love, I lose weight, I get a better job, I am older etc. We fail to understand happiness is not “earned” it is a choice and we don’t get to have things that make us happy if we are not happy to start with.