Something really interesting happened to me today when I tried to make a cup of latte at 3 AM.
Besides what is obviously wrong with that activity in and of itself, and what it inherently implies, I had to deal with the mystery of the spoiled buffalo milk.
Traditionally, buffalo milk is considered vastly superior in taste to cow milk. It’s not an exaggeration. Unfortunately, they so not sell it where I now live. Well, they do, but it’s just too expensive to be a common staple of the household diet.
So, during a recent visit back home I took the chance to rekindle my passion for buffalo milk, which I also enjoy adding to my coffee.
As my time was running out and I needed to prepare for my flight, I bought a few days’ supplies of delicious buffalo milk. Was kind of hoping to make my last cup of latte at my mom’s house taste heavenly with this magical ingredient.
But, to my utter dismay, it went bad. Apparently, the expiration date on the bottles was misleading.
It was supposed to last five days in the fridge, but it went sour after three. I was disappointed as I threw away two full bottles and made my coffee with regular tasteless cow milk. Oh, the horror!
But still, I chose to be grateful.
Reason one, I was still able to make my coffee. Reason two, I only had to throw away two out of the four I got. Reason three, the two bottles that didn’t go bad were fresh and unfathomably delicious.
Reason four was the most important one. I was right to go against my old habits of ‘delaying the best for last,’ and ‘make the good stuff last for as long as possible.’ It was a good call.
This was the exact opposite of the principle of delayed gratification and the famous Marshmallow experiment. But, had I not swiftly gone through the first half of my precious cargo I would have lost all four bottles.
I’ve always known that fresh buffalo milk even when pasteurized is not supposed to stay unboiled for long, but the printed expiration date somehow tricked me into disregarding my common sense.
That whole ordeal was what got me thinking about a recent conversation I had with a close friend about giving up on achieving certain dreams and other planned life experiments because “the time has passed.”
Men who go through a midlife crisis are famous for going after the things they think they’ve missed along the way. They exploit their situation of relative power and wealth to acquire the things they never got to enjoy on their way up the mountains of life.
Some get a ridiculously expensive and fast motorcycle, or a sportscar, some go after young beautiful women, and some just burn through an entire bucket list of missed experiences.
My friend’s point was that after a certain age a man should just give up on the sort of things he didn’t get to do as a younger man and just go about doing age-appropriate things with his life. Like there are actually statutes of limitations on old dreams.
I agreed with his point at first because a mutual friend of ours seemed to be going head-first through a terrible midlife crisis that had the potential of wrecking his life.
But, I thought about it and changed my mind.
My friend who was being dismissive of our other friend’s current midlife crisis was able in fact to burn through many of these “life experiences” in his youth and he already got it all out of his system. Now, he’s faulting another guy who is trying to go down the same path responsibly and with careful consideration, or at least that’s what I think.
It’s easy to dismiss people for going after things that have completely lost their value to you. To someone else, this desire, this car, this woman, this trip, this possession, or this experience is still of considerable value.
People are entitled to making their own mistakes at their own convenience.
Yes, this thing you might be after now can be a mistake, a big one even, but it’s still your life and you’re entitled to experiment with it however you want. We each get through one lifetime and no one is flawless.
Indeed you must listen to words of wisdom and heed a valid warning but if you still think you should go after something, even after every case why you shouldn’t has been made for you, I think you should go right ahead.
There is indeed no expiration date or statute of limitations on dreams.
On the long run, your life is your own responsibility, your decisions both good and bad are yours and yours alone to make, and ultimately no one else can walk in your shoes.
I am writing these words as I’m at the precipice of a life-changing decision; a fork in the road where I need to make a decision to go right or left and I am finding myself extremely hesitant to make a decision.
Both roads are difficult and long, both are laden with beasts, monsters, and ghosts, and each will require a considerable sacrifice that has the potential of causing dire consequences.
I’m still undecided, but no matter what I will choose, I will not regret my choice. I just can’t afford regret if I’m going to follow through with the challenges I have to face along the way.
One thing I know for sure, though. To someone else, both decisions will look like a huge mistake.
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