One of the joys of blogging - especially having done so for a while now - is re-reading old posts. I often get sucked into doing this by looking at referer logs (essentially, who out there is linking to my blog), and just yesterday I re-discovered a post called moving backwards from November 2005. It's great; please take a moment to read it. I'll wait.
The question posed in this post is: am I still capable today of doing things I could do in the past. Essentially, am I moving backwards? I wonder about this a lot, with fifty approaching (yeah, I am 49 now, and will turn 50 in December). There are certainly some things I can't do as well as I could twenty-five years ago, but they are mostly physical. I don't have the intensity I had in my mid-twenties; I could work all night on a program without interruption, only to discover I'd gone twelve hours without eating, sleeping, or communicating with any other humans (perhaps this contributed to the downfall of my first marriage :).
In the nearer term, my moving backwards post was pretty good; could I write it today? Or was I capable, at 46, of writing something I could no longer write today, at 49? In three more years I may read this post, and compare it to that one; which will seem "better"? Not clear. (I'll check back in three years and let you know :)
Today I participated in a board meeting; with the current financial turmoil you can fill in the blanks, yeah, it was "interesting", and we have some cool new opportunities we reviewed as well, and the combination of messages was/is difficult to process (be financially conservative while aggressively pursuing new opportunities = huh?). I'm definitely better at that sort of discussion and analysis than I was twenty-five years ago, or even three years ago.
So on balance I reiterate my conclusion from November 2005; there were things I've done that were good, and I wouldn't do them the same way today, but I don't think I'm moving backwards. Whew!