I think that humanity’s propensity for assigning special significance to particular dates or intervals of time is a little silly. After all, they are just numbers, human-made measurements. For example, New Year’s just means we’ve been on a small planet that have just happened to have made yet another trip around some star.
Of course, as we grow older, and our primal needs (food, shelter, safety) are satisfied, it is natural for us to start thinking on a more philosophical bent. I don’t think it is the long lifespan and accompanying mandatory bouts of boredom has anything to do with it; I doubt a homeless person thinks more beyond where his next place to sleep is. It’s easy to be philosophical when your belly is full and your hands are warm.
So what is the point in life? I am not sure. My goal is to be well-liked. Not necessarily famous, just known to be a good person, – helpful, kind, has a sense of humour, the guru, the confidante. In other words, the Fifth Business (ala Robertson Davies). A person with integrity, intelligence and good manners.
I love Silverlotus with all my heart and she loves me too, and it also makes me very happy. I am a resolute believer that things always “work out” simply because, statistically, things have always panned out in the end. (She, btw, believes the point in life is to amass all possible knowledge in this world.)
Perhaps it’s a repressed child trauma thing – an innate desire for people to like me, to not ignore me. Even now, I find concepts such as betrayal and deception unsettling. It doesn’t mean I have an issue getting ahead of the pack; just as long as it was a fair fight.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to do too, as a child. I locked on to computers when I was eight, and decided whatever I did, it should involve them. I don’t think I would ever be a Bill Gates in this way though – I just don’t have that streak of ruthlessness.
I think that with the heightened level of education and information flow, people will be getting their mid-life crises sooner. We are getting rich faster, meeting more people (virtually or physically) and learning about how they and their cultures live. So I believe we get the “grass is greener on the other side” ennui at an earlier age.
(At least some of us. Most people are too busy paying down their car, finding the trendiest bar and checking cellphone voicemail to think beyond the next paycheck or business trip. We would call these people “shallow” I suppose, but they have willed themselves not to think about the tomorrow and thereafter and concentrate on closing that big customer deal or whatever.)
So I dunno. But perhaps what you’re feeling is guilt for running your life how you want it, companies or friends or signficant others or family be damned, and it makes you feel you have to make it up to the world in some way. Personally, I do not feel this way, but being the Fifth Business invariably means being accomodating and compromising. The downside is, it doesn’t do much for the ego.