The Grey Chronicles


Things To Do Before 40 [edit: 45]

I celebrate my birthday today, my 45th! When I was 30, I made a list of things to do before I was 40. Unfortunately, some of those things did not materialized that I gave myself another five years to do them. The next five years, however, I noticed that my priorities changed, thus the list also changed.

Revisiting my list of five (5) things to do before I reached 40 45, here we go:

1. Write a book. This was originally stated as: Transform my novelette into a novel: “A Suicide Note From a Prisoner”, an autobiography I wrote about my PMA days. The novel is about 90% complete, already edited and only needs a publisher. During the five years, moreover, with my pursuit of an MBM degree, this plan was supplanted—temporarily, I hope—with writing my master’s thesis, which in all counts but one is a book by itself. Thesis writing took almost the past two years, with one disappearing thesis adviser and the other adviser changing her mind like the dickens which almost driven me crazy, frustrated and left me with a writer’s block. Anyway, the thesis is done, published, bound and submitted. Now, the task ahead of me is transforming the master’s thesis into a popular-styled book so that it could be readable by the most people, not just academics.

2. Begin a blog. Blogging have been part of Web 2.0 technology. Although I delved into the Internet bandwagon in 1990 by creating a personal website hosted by GeoCities, I never had the time and the drive to create a blog. My GeoCities site have stagnated with no new articles or features since 1999. Yet, on June this year, I finally opened up this WordPress blog and planned to keep it going. Previously during the webmastering of my GeoCities pages, I was connecting to the web through dial-up, which was very slow that uploading an article took minutes of my time. This year, I finally have a GSM/GPRS mobile connection, uploading a post is a cinch.

3. Another child. My wife and I have two boys in their teens already. We liked to have a daughter, but by luck it is a BOY! Born on 25 May 2006, I became a father again after more than ten years. Last year, our nights were filled with the three (3) P’s: pee, poo and puke! Oh, being a dad at this age is back-breaking! How could an older father carry his 17-kg. son above his shoulders and smile? Still, another son is a bundle of joy! He is growing very fast right in our very eyes. Words like: "Luv you, Daddy!" cannot compare with the hum of industrial machines in my day work, dealing with irritable "expert" expats, problems with subordinates, among other things. Watching a baby turning into a toodler, amazement is beyond words, even if his words are all baby-talk!

4. Visit another country. My division head finally made this dream come true! With the Maintenance Planning head begging not to go, I was next in line for a visit at Kalmeshwar, Maharastra, India last 22 August to 31 August this year. I am holding off writing about that trip in this blog fearing untoward repercussions for my sharp rhetoric and too keen observations while I was there. Maybe, someday when the time is right, I might be able to write in this blog what a "wonderful" trip that was. To say the least: India is a country of color, odor and personalities. The only one problem with this trip was: the company would not allow me to charge as travel expenses my purchase of chocolates and candies for pasalubong [gifts] given to some of my work colleagues, who gladly accepted the kind gestures. Liquidating it as part of my representation allowance also proved to be difficult that in the end this expense was charged to my personal account. Thus, next time [if ever the company send me abroad again], I would no longer bother bringing home gifts for these same colleagues, especially those in Human Resources, who thought it was unsensitive of me to charge it as travel expense, after they devoured the chocolate with gusto, and all I get was a thankless thanks!

5. Finish reading at least one book per month. Eversince I came to work, I made it a point to read at least one book a month. Even became a member of the Book-of-the-Month Club during NSC era. I have accumulated books—novels, management, self-help, autobiography— in all shapes and sizes—pocketbooks, textbooks, e-books, etc. This time, however, because of the shifting schedule I am in, I only could read before going to sleep. While in the past, I could find time to leisurely finish a book in one sitting, time is no longer a luxury. Anyway, some of the books I have read in the past five years appear on this blog as a synopsis with my annotations. The problem with collecting e-books is that they are filling my hard drive faster than I can read them. I have bought an 80-G hard disk, but that too is filling up to the brim. I am thinking of reverting to buying paper-based books rather than accumulating digital copies of the same. With this, I need shelves which the apartment I am renting lacks the space for my books. My wife suggested selling some of the books I accumulated, but even throwing a clipped article from a news magazine I cannot do, how would parting with a book I enjoyed reading be easier for me? Maybe I should change my hobby, one that does nothing with accumulation or collection.

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