The Meaning Of Life

You know how at the end of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”, the meaning of life is famously revealed as “forty-two”? Reading the book as a child, I thought it was just a nonsense way of saying there is no universal meaning of life.

Many years later, and having interviewed Douglas Adams, I now think he was probably saying forty-two was about the age at which you discover your own meaning of life. Deep eh?

Forty-two is also about the number of beers I drank last night for my birthday drinks at “The Evening Star”.

Although I’ve been anticipating it for a while, and unlike most years, had actually given some thought to a drinks celebration, turning forty-two kinda surprised me when it arrived. I’ve been really busy at work lately, and so have been reasonably distracted until, all of a sudden, it happened.

Birthday Beers at The Evening Star

I’ve always been fairly conscious of the multiples of seven birthdays though. Long before new-age thinking, I remember, as a child, my dad telling me life life goes through seven year cycles. I still remember the conversation vividly, as it just seemed to come out of nowhere, though it was obviously something my dad believed.

According to one new-age site

The forty-second year brings a major change because it is the polarity of the twenty-eighth year. Here, the integration of the whole self occurs. The view is not, “World, what can you give me?” as in the twenty-eighth year, but, “World what have I got to give you?” It is the realization of all the growth that has occurred and the ability to use it in its most productive way.

At forty-two, you may begin to have doubts about your life. These doubts are not negative. They are based on the growth gained in the interim years between thirty-five and forty-two. This creates an ability to question whether you wish to maintain your life as it is or whether new changes are imminent. Doubt can be positive if it is leading you to be suspect of something in your life that is not good for you.

If past experience is anything to go by, I suspect changes in my life may also be imminent. Aged twenty-two, I quit my job at Coles and left Brisbane for Bourke in Western NSW (a big change) to follow my career dream. Aged twenty-nine, I fulfilled another long-term career goal, and also moved to Sydney. Aged thirty-six, I became single again, ending a reasonably long-relationship, and soon-after started on a new direction in my career. So strictly speaking, the changes in my life occur about twelve months after one of those multiple of seven birthdays.

And now, aged forty-two, like the hippies say, I find myself questioning my life again and wondering what’s next. I’m planning overseas travel next year, of maybe two or three months duration, so maybe that will be an opening to the next part of my life.

But in the meantime, it was great last night to get together and have a few drinks with mates. As previously noted, I have a broad cross-section of friends, and it was very nice to see them getting to meet each other last night. I loved hearing from workmates comments like “Your friends are VERY nice”, and hearing from friends comments like, “The people you work with are VERY interesting”. Maybe that’s what the meaning of life is – being surrounded by interesting, lovely people.

5 Replies to “The Meaning Of Life”

  1. Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a great time.

    I just got your sms about the stripper at the bus stop. Did you take some photos? Or accost her, claiming that she turned you gay?

  2. “slightly worn, but dignified, and not too old for SEX!!!” – When All Is Said And Done

  3. Happy Birthday!

    I’ve heard about the 7 year cycle thing… I think I get the urge to move on every 3-4 years though, so twice a cycle!

    Good luck for the next 7 and beyond!

  4. Mark – Thanks, was great fun last night. I sent the same SMS to Andrew who told me I called her the “grammy stripper” (bloody predictive text”). For other readers out of the loop, I’m talking about the older woman who stripped at the Newtown Hotel.

    Trashie – one of my favourites.

    Tom – Thanks.

    And did I mention I fell over on the bus yesterday when it stopped suddenly? Within a nano-second I was surrounded by young people helping me back to my feet. Does that officially make me old? According to a couple of friends, this will now be known as the day when I had a “fall” (as they say in old people’s homes).

  5. Many happy returns, James! 42 beers or thereabouts – well done.

    That 7-year cycle thing is interesting – or perhaps it becomes more interesting, the older we get and the more time we look back on. I can look back now and see that at 28 I ran away from everything – home state, job, family, relationship – to start again. It was a real, ‘world, what can you give me?’ moment. Still waiting for what 36 will bring – there’s a few more months left…

    Now you’re into what sounds like the best phase yet! Mature and poised to use all you’ve learned. Go out and slay’em, son.

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