The Tapas Life I’m living is really quite excellent. It has all the aspects I have come to view as necessary in my desired Tapas Life (in no particular order): meaning, fun, health (exercise/diet), beauty, learning, family, community, comfort, flexibility, variety, and reasonable finances. This tasty melange has been assembled with the thought in mind that each aspect of it has “legs,” i.e., it can continue on for 20-30 years.
But I admit I have my doubts from time to time. I really love the piano, but have found out that I have a progressive malady called Dupuytren’s Contracture that is gradually trying to cause the tendons/muscles of my 2-3 central fingers to shrink up. I’m fighting this with aggressive stretching. Will I win, or will it? Time will tell — but this could put piano in jeopardy for me. I’m told a surgical procedure exists if my hands get bad enough. Will this restore them? Who knows?
I expect to arrive at the point of 10,000 hours of intensive practice at the piano around 3-4 years from now. This is the point at which one is supposedly going to be pretty decent. From my standpoint, I already am — at least compared to what I imagined possible. And I’ll surely be better a few years from now. Practice, practice, practice. It will be tragic if the piano slips from my reach.
I talk through this as an example of the doubts I have about the longevity of my Tapas. Will my hand health last 20-30 years? We’ll see.
Will the economy and investments tank for a prolonged period, curbing our financial well-being? Nobody can say.
Will my knees hold out so I can keep biking to get the cardio I need as part of my Younger Next Year exercise program? Will something else give out, health-wise, that will limit our travels (this could be an issue of mine or an issue of my wife’s)? How long will golf be doable? One can’t know.
I really like my Life Coaching work. Where will I find clients going forward? For the past couple of years, they’ve just materialized, delivered to me by the universe, so to speak. And this in a way that has me with a steady stream of 2-4 clients (my max is 5, so it doesn’t become a whole career). I like this, but have no idea if it will continue. Or if it will get harder as I get older. Simply don’t know.
Will my plentiful supply of Exotic Fish (see eponymous post) keep swimming my way, or will my aquarium thin out and become sparse, leaving me with less of these nourishing relationships?
What will happen to the balance of my Tapas Life as and when one or both of our kids get married (if that comes to pass)? And if there are grandchildren? What if my wife or I don’t get along with their spouse? Where will kids be living? How will these events affect the years to come, and the flow of my Tapas Life?
Eventually, even my high-powered wife may choose to slow down. How will that affect our lives, and what will be the interplay with my Tapas Life?
Plenty to wonder about. I know I often come off as pretty cheerful and sans souci. I just wanted you to know that I have my doubts about whether this carefully assembled Tapas Life of mine has legs. And I have the doubts a few times a month, more than just occasionally. And you may, too. It seems only natural.
I generally confront those doubts by telling myself that whatever comes along, my Tapas Life will be malleable enough to morph with the vicissitudes the stream of time brings my way. And that settles me down to enjoy life as I currently know it, rather than worrying about the unknowables.
In a significant way, the Tapas Life is the most flexible one: if a Tapa conks out, others are still there to sustain you. And a fresh Tapa can be created to fill the space. Tapas that lose their mojo can be sent to pasture. New Tapas that catch your interest are yours for the taking.
So if you or I have our doubts, I guess that’s no surprise. And it’s comforting to know that the Tapas Life is resilient enough to take an occasional contratemp in stride.