the answer is no longer 42

A few (or more-ish) years ago, I celebrated my birthday with a month of asking questions about the ultimate question of life, the universe & everything.* The questions and conversations among colleagues and online revealed a lot – even if we didn’t get to a “real” ultimate answer.

That was the month of my 42nd birthday day. And, as much as any other answer I found, 42 really was the ultimate answer to all my questions. Everything came back to who I was, in my understanding of myself in the world at that moment in my 42nd year. I was doing my best with all the tools I had available to me, my understanding of my values, principles and priorities as a 42 year old.

This year the questions continue with as much curiosity and openness for the path they reveal, over any ultimate actual answer. When we start to ask ourselves about the ultimate question(s), we quickly begin to hit upon our values, our priorities, how and who we want to be in the world. In the universe.

How do we want to be noticed, be heard, be seen?

How do we want to notice, to hear, to see?

Why do you want that? What is important about that?

There are no right or wrong answers here. Only more understanding. And, this year, that means a few more years – including a couple of long pandemic years full of some introspective and re-prioritizing moments – of experience truly teasing out and getting closer to the heart of my values, priorities and principles. Do I truly, ultimately, understand them all yet?

Dear lord, no.

But I know I’ll be doing the best I can with them, in the moment this year. Once again.

*per The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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