I know that sometimes you worry that when you hit a certain age some kind of beige cloud will descend and you will live out the rest of your life in some kind of monochrome existence.
I’m not sure that’s how it works – I suspect you have a great deal of choice about the range of colours you keep painting life with.
I’ve been thinking about what you can do to keep the colours bright .
I think the foundational principle to hold on to is this:
Always be curious.
There will never be a time in your life when there aren’t more things for you to learn and discover. You just need to keep your eyes and your mind open, and not become numbed by the daily routines. Don’t ever think that the world begins and ends in your small circle of knowledge and experience.
Life will only become more interesting as you get older because I think you’ve passed the point of worrying so much about doing the wrong thing or making mistakes.
When you were younger you wanted to be certain and sure of things, and you were sometimes unwilling to try new things because what if you didn’t like it? What if the ideas you were interested in turned out to be too difficult for you to understand? What if the thing you were curious about was less interesting than you thought it would be ?
Now, in your forties, you just want to know things, and experience things and that is good. Of course you will do things you won’t want to repeat – the octopus ordering and eating experience would be one, but I think you now understand that no experience is wasted. Everything you learn, everytime you allow curiosity to lead you somewhere, your life has another streak of colour added to it.
Try not to ever say ‘that’s not my thing’ or ‘I’m not really interested in that’ because anything could be your thing. It may not be your passion or your favourite and your best (and yes that is a Charlie and Lola expression, and actually Lola is a brilliant role model for curiosity) but it’s a part of life that you can take an interest in.
So never be embarrassed by curiosity.
Never feel that it’s something you should grow out of.
Never worry about what other people may think of you when you take an interest in another new thing. It’s a good way to live.
More on this in the next letter.