Stepping out of my burrow

So I’m in my late 30s. This is an age that I think a lot of people dread, because 40 marks the beginning of middle age, the no-good, very bad slump that follows young(er) adulthood where we’re all suddenly used-up malcontents who are either beaten down by life or on the verge of launching headfirst into a sitcom-like midlife crisis.

That is, of course, utterly ridiculous. But I have noticed that birthdays that end in 0 tend to cause panic in adults.

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I enjoy reading about words and phrases that exist in other languages, but don’t have perfect English equivalents. It’s a fascinating insight into what shapes the experiences of people in other cultures, and also sometimes helps me to think about things in ways I haven’t done before.

I read an interesting article a few months ago called Let the Soul Dangle, a translation of the German phrase die Seele baumeln lassen. It’s supposed to signify that an idle mind – one that wanders and engages in reverie – is ultimately a more creative and productive mind. I’ve returned to this piece several times since I read it, as it talks about art being a catalyst for emotional experiences within safe spaces that help us process our real-life experiences. I have a professional interest in how people experience art, so this article has been added to my collection of research materials. But what makes it stand out is that small German phrase, and how the authors connected it to a universal concept.

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