33

It’s that time again, kids. The planet has completed another orbit of the sun since the last time this day occurred. This will mark the thirty-third such orbit completed in my lifetime.
I do not feel like celebrating. Maintaining cellular respiration successfully for 365 days is not a meaningful accomplishment.
In fact, I briefly experienced the fleeting thought last night that 33 was a sufficient number of orbits. I could just stop and it wouldn’t bother me. Perhaps I’ve aclimated to my meds and they are less effective. Or perhaps my intense pursuit of contentment has melded with my depression and casual existential dread to make me just ambivalent about death. It is going to happen eventually. That is a fact. A character in a movie said “‘Tis a poor thing to fear the inevitable.” I don’t know why but that really stuck with me.

But back to the reason I think this particular number of orbits is significant. Which I realize that I didn’t mention. And in fact anyone reading this far has probably already stopped reading to set up an intervention or a vacation to a nice padded room. But whatever.
33 is divisible by 11.
The reason that is important to me is explained by this comic: http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2012-09-02
And now having re-read it, I feel like an idiot. Because I transposed the two relevant numbers.
7 years to be great at something. 11 chances to be great.
I had it backwards. I thought it took 11 years. whatever, my point is still valid even though I’m not at a convenient round number from the established premise.
And yes, that comic probably assumes the 10,000 hour figure for the ‘expert’ level of something, which is already wrong. That was the hours of practice needed to become the best in a highly-competitive field. Pick something stupid or easy and I could be the best in a matter of months.

The next 11 years. Age 44, what do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like in 2030?
Its not a rhetorical question. I’m actually trying to think of an answer.
In the last 11 years I got kind of good at software testing, automation. I learned how to do CAD and 3d printing. Welding. Learned to ride a motorcycle, built a chopper, rode 1000 miles in less than 24 hours to get into the Iron Butt association. Microcontroller programming and circuitry. Home automation. Assembled and programmed a custom keyboard. Learned basic stenography. Then gave it up because by the time I got good enough the speech-to-text software could do it for me.
Do I want to focus on work, take ISTQB certification exams, and be actually good at my job?
Should I take a class and/or certify myself welding so my welds don’t look like crap?
Diet and work out, maybe get back to some fraction of my former physical prowess? I’ll never have the body I had at 18, but I could get close.
If this were an RPG or some kind of game, and I were the character, what abilities should I level up?