Is modern life in western societies too complex? Are there just too many choices out there? Have we completely over-complicated what could otherwise be a much more simple and meaningful life? Do less modern societies actually have it better, at least in some ways, than more modern societies?
Humans seem destined to "progress" towards some unknown idea of "better". And built in to that progress, is the idea that life will somehow be better, that we will reach some point where we are happy, or satisfied. On the other hand, there are many people who seemingly have what others can only dream about (I'm not talking about wealth). They have some sense of satisfaction, or some sense of a connection with themselves that allows them to be satisfied with their lives.
We are also saddled with the cultural pressure to "succeed". But the definition of success that is most strongly portrayed and worshipped, is monetary wealth and material possessions. So, as a result, so many of us chase that goal, erroneously thinking we will find happiness.
On the philosophical side, we have all heard, repeatedly, that happiness is within and should be embraced. But that is nebulous, and unsatisfying. It is elusive to many for various reasons, obviously.
Personally, I can take inventory and feel good about where I am at. But simultaneously, I can easily complain about what I have not been able to accomplish. Without the litany of excuses, I can only say that I simply failed to persist towards those things that I thought were so important. Most of them turned out to be hobbies at best, but a few remain troubling to me.
I have indeed wished I could take another shot at it!
As far as the future, technically I have lived 2/3 of my life. I'm 50 this year, and I suppose I could live another 30 if I stay healthy and lucky. What can I do to fill some of the gaps I feel today? I don't really know, but I think about it a lot. Thanks for the gentle reminder!