For Paul, middle age has brought a sea change. He shares that in his 20’s and 30’s he looked outward at possibility, imaging different lives and dreaming. Now, at 40, recently married, situated in London and coming into his own creatively, he is much more inward-looking. He admits to evaluating the choices he’s already made rather than thinking about what could be. It’s an interesting and inevitable change, but something he hadn’t anticipated. Peter admits he’s not there yet in many ways, but can relate in terms of career: he’s decided to focus only on film and media projects and not get seduced by possibilities farther afield. There is a resignation that comes with accepting one’s choices, and Paul admits so much. The guys move onto the main topic: Processing Loss and Disappointment. Many of us are aware of what we’ve lost when we’re no longer young and Paul enumerates some of those loses – but what do older people have to compensate? The common answer is that older folks have “wisdom” but what does that mean? Paul believes that emotional maturity comes from suffering loss and disappointment. In his words, the realization that “Life hasn’t turned out as one may have hoped, nor is it going to…” But whether we end up bitter and angry, threatened by the unbridled optimism of youth, or instead find ourselves measured and thoughtful depends on how well we are able to process the inevitable disappointments that life offers up. The men discuss this idea.
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