Ended up running up and around Mount Herman last night. Not sure exactly why. Maybe it was because I was wanting to feel something old but somewhat familiar under my feet. It has been well over a decade since I have gone up there and ran. I used to run up there a lot when I lived up there and always enjoyed the less than crowded trails up in that area.
Maybe I decided to drive all the way up there yesterday because maybe I have just had enough of everything and I am just done. Walking into work yesterday afternoon the big screens in the lobby were blaring some news channel like always and the topic was the U.S. debt limit/crisis. I think that is what initially caused me to snap. I looked at the security guard and just said that maybe someday, the news will be predominantly good again. One can only wish.
Words and phases that I am utterly sick of... Oil prices, gas prices, house values, unemployment, debt limit, Iraq, Afghanistan, inflation, slow recovery... I am sure there are a few more than that but these seem to be the major ones that hit us every day in the news, and none of it is getting better. On a more micro sense, strike, rif, reorg, and my current favorite, "two days a week."
Maybe then it was just out of nostalgic reasons I traveled last night to run the old trails that I used to haunt. As I ascended the trail I marveled at the views while reflecting on just how different things are now compared to then, then being 1999. I miss 1999.
1999... pre 911... pre Bush-Cheney, pre ENRON and a whole lot of other messes. If there were ever a time in my adult life when the future looked so bright and full of possibilities it was then. The economy was chugging right along, we weren't at war, and you could still get a return on your investments be it in stocks, bonds or property.
Annie was five and just starting school then and it amazes me that she is going to be a senior this fall. That happened way too quickly. I can only imagine how bleak the world looks to kids her age now with the limited prospects out there waiting for them, regardless if they go to college or not.
Sure, I recognize that life wasn't perfect then but my god it did seem to be a more simple existence. I had way less weight on my shoulders or at least the weight didn't feel as heavy as it does now. Even so, then.. life was more equitable I think and everyone pulled their HALF instead of having to constantly be carried or supported or bailed out. It was easy to trust.
Maybe that is just the way that life goes. At some point we hit our apogee and that's that. I understand how the Peter Principle applies professionally but I never considered the fact that is applied just regular old life itself also.
And I will be honest... call it a mid life crisis or whatever but being 43 is no picnic. I don't fear losing my job so much because jobs are scarce and it would be hard to find another one. NO. I fear losing my job because jobs are scarce and it would be hard to find another one AND even more difficult since I am older. It is a hard feeling to describe but I feel myself becoming more insignificant and less relevant in and to the world as I keep getting older. That sucks.
So I ran the trails of my past remembering the better times and tried to enjoy the run the best I could. The scary thing about looking back and realizing that I was, is realizing the possibility that in ten years or so from now, looking back on this point of time as a time of prosperity and opportunity, that this time is in fact good. Mom always told me that life doesn't get any easier, so looking forward I just don't have the hope of things getting better anymore.
I miss 1999 and would go back in a sec... If for nothing else just to feel optimistic for a change.
On the bright-side though, I don't think that I ever ran faster up there than I did last night.