I'm turning 60 this year. I feel that I am on the threshold of the last phase of my life. More than ever before, I am aware that I need to consciously decide how to live this last decade or two. I need to choose what is important to me and prioritize it. Yet I find that I do not have a clear awareness of what really is important. For much of my life, meeting the responsibilities I had shouldered was of paramount importance: helping raise the child I had helped create, mentoring and aiding my wife, and paying bills. By the time I attained age 55, Dyana was well along in her career with two undergraduate and a master's engineering degrees, and advanced degree. Denise has found her career niche, her MBA having helped her get there. We had no debts remaining. My greatest  satisfactions have come from the dozen or so careers I have had the opportunity to give a great impetus to in some way, most recently in my current role in the Federal civil service. And now, I speak with pride when I say that our daughter is one step level ahead of my fairly senior level on the Federal GS scale.

All of that is passed. Leaving the Marines, I took up electrical engineering because I had two young people who were dependent for their well-being on me, not because of any aptitude. My scholastic loves and performances all pointed to verbal skills. Nothing predicted my success in the mathematics and engineering classes that got me into engineering. Before leaving for the Marines, my loves were given to evolutionary biology, philosophy, and literature. Perhaps the alienation I have felt throughout my career from my technical colleagues stems from this psychological bent. I enjoy the challenge of technical work, of understanding complex relationships that a bound by the laws and rules of physics and mathematics. But while it compensates handsomely monetarily and I tell myself its for the national good, ultimately it seems like a game to me. I can't help but think that today's technological advance is tomorrow's obsolescent junk. This is unfair in many ways. Technology applied to physics and neurobiology have destroyed rational belief in Genesis and the eternal soul. But this is technology that informs the human condition and drives back old superstitions. Like the memory of Giordano Bruno and Galileo, it enable discoveries that will live on. Technology to sell some new gimmick to a population already afloat with too many gimmicks or to gain temporary advantage between competitors in the eternal jockeying between nation state seems to ephemeral.