Focusing My Energy On Living Today Over The Possibility That The World Could End At Any Moment17 Jul 2015
I grew up out in the woods. Many of the adults in my world fed me steady diet of fear about the world ending. Whether it was from the right, with fear of the second coming of their Christ, or from the left with government and military led apocalypse. It didn't all come from my local community either, during the Reagan era I was also pumped full of fear it came to Russians, drugs, and much more.
During my teen years I spent many summers canning food, buying food in 50 lb sacks, purchasing guns and ammo, and even training some times out in the woods and at the river, with friends--just in case. I was convinced the end would be coming, no matter what version of the apocalypse it was. As I became an adult the residue of this exposure began to fade, but I still had the urge to buy food in bulk, subscribed to some conspiracy theories, and owned guns to protect myself.
In 1999 things began to change for me. As the year 2000 loomed, and my parents bough years worth of food in bulk, and purchased more guns and ammo (they bought a palette of SKS rifles, and ammo), my wife became pregnant. I was approaching my 28th year, and facing the birth of my daughter Kaia. Her coming into my world kicked my evolution from living everyday with fear, to living every day to its fullest--something that would take me over a decade to master.
As I moved into my 30s, and this little girl continue to dominant my heart this shift continued. Another aspect to this story was that in my youth I rode motorcycles. In high school I rode a Honda XL 600 dirt-bike to school each day, and somewhere I got in my that I would not live past 30--I did.
Now in my 40s, I'd say I'm 99% about living each day to its fullest. I spent every single day working to enjoy everything I do. I've successfully filtered out drama and craziness in my life, well about 90% I'd say. My Facebook is often full of doom and gloom about vaccines, government conspiracies, Obama coming for your guns, chem-trails, and the regular focus on the world ending by the left and the right in my life.
Don't get me wrong. There is lots wrong in this world, and as the API Evangelist I spent a great deal of time trying to address as many problems as I can from opening up government budget data, working to protect our privacy online, and pushing on corporations to be more transparent. I have found a way to try and make the world a better place, while also living each day to its fullest. I don't stress on the world ending anymore. I don't stockpile food or weapons.
In my 40s, since I've successfully made this transition, and I worry a lot less. I still battle my own mind (mental illness,) and body (health), but I've found a way to channel this 98% of the time through my work, and storytelling. The world could end any day, but you know what? I will deal with that when it happens, I'm damn sure not going to spend each day worrying about what might happen, I'm going to live each day to its fullest and make the biggest impact I possibly can while I am here, perpetually grinding against the machines that seek to do us harm, and make the world better for Kaia and her generation.