The Ultimate Answer

towel day, don't panic, from wikipedia

I’ll be turning 42 soon. I expect this to be a big year. Forty-two is an important number, as anyone who’s read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy knows.

This will be the year when I find answers, small and large. Perhaps the ultimate answer, to “the great Question of Life, the Universe and everything.”

Except… I forget the answer is simple. It’s the question we don’t know.

We might ask “What do people want?” or “What do people need?” But maybe these are frivolous questions in the face of an unimaginably vast universe which cares nothing about our tiny lives.

(DON’T PANIC!!!)

Aging continues to be a smooth process of recalibrating my ideas about it. Forty-two doesn’t seem old, now. As long as I’m in my early forties, I have time to figure this thing out. In a few years, I imagine I’ll feel good as long as I’m on the short side of 50. Then I expect 60 will seem far away, and that’s clearly when you actually start getting old.

Old is always a receding number, yet somewhere along the way my eyesight will finally start to fail, and the aches will persist longer, and then…

Wait.

This wasn’t supposed to be a post about getting old. I don’t look forward to a weaker, less able body, but I’m okay with the process so far. I look forward to many more good years. I wonder how I’ll accept or deny the death sentence at the end, if given the time to serve a long term. It still seems so far away, and it’s easy to forget the string could be cut at any time.

And I yearn as desperately as ever for answers, even though I know there aren’t any. No simple ones, anyway. Just wisdom that may only come with age. And in death, the answers? Or at least in death the questions might finally go away.