life, path taken, course walked, living intentionally

The Course Lived Over Decades

In our teens, hormones awaken with a sudden surge of excitement, thrill, and bewilderment. Emotions come alive that were previously unknown to us. It’s a time of growth, experiment, and evolution.

Enter the twenties. No longer under the umbrella of parents or guardians, life is new and fresh, and the restraints of our childhood are often cast aside as we pursue what we think will bring us happiness and joy.

Decisions are made. Paths are chosen. Trajectory of life appears to be fixed.

Thirties involve a settling of the dust. Routines are committed to, usually by decisions to take on families and debt. After all, that’s what we think we’re supposed to do. Careers, jobs, vocations mostly are chosen by the amount of money we can harness…and, for the moment, if we actually like our employment, AND our employers, this can seem doable for a time.

Life in the forties feels nothing like it did in the twenties. What once gave us a rush then usually turns out to be a horrible addiction of sorts to help cope with the routine of old that feels suffocating.

The path in the twenties and thirties are now worn down into a well-defined trench that the walls around us can feel like the hard iron grates of a livestock corral—funneling us to a destination that boggles the mind.

The bone-crushing debt is unbearable. The job taken for the wrong reasons is almost impossible to give up due to the entrapment of an income and benefits level that is too scary to think of loosing. The relationships that were based on the wrong reasons in earlier years are now a source of stress on the home front that makes coming home unfathomable and hence, overtime at work is an out to avoid just another war zone.

Fifties. If you make life-altering decisions now, you’re labeled as someone who is just going through the change in life: Mid-life Crisis.

Beyond that, decisions and the trajectory of life, like concrete poured around the ankles, has long firmed up and hardened. Why bother? Why change? “I’m too old to do anything now?”

I’ve heard that last line from those in their 30’s and 40’s.


For every decade lived, there’s an excuse. An excuse as to why we can’t change, can’t live intentionally, can’t move the needle on our compass.

Convenient excuses seem more plausible than facing the fear of change.

To take the time to examine what and who we really are, what it is that resonates within us, and who it is that we want to be associated with, takes effort.

Then to make a realignment with those core desires and beliefs will take courage.

The effort and courage we put forth into living more intentionally, no matter our age, will be far more rewarding than the regrets we live with if we continue as “normal”.

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Posted by Christian Martin Jr.