My 2 centavos.
From your statement "...got a lot of catching up to do to you vets. Need to log those hours...", it sounds like you're on an urgent quest to make up for lost time and cram in as much surfing as quickly possible. I can sort of understand that, as I started learning to surf later in life. I'm 57 and have been only at it since August of last year. Sometimes I wish I had started sooner. Surfing is certainly addicting and consuming. I've often had to remind myself to be grateful for the experience (bad and good) and enjoy the journey. It's similar to learning martial arts, with which I've had some experience. Many beginners want to know right off how long it will take to earn a black belt. They're obsessed with getting a black belt in as short amount of time as possible. But in the process, they often miss the whole point, meaning, spirit, and the "art" of martial arts. There's more to it than just the mechanics. There's also a certain "seasoning" that comes with time. This is important too. I think surfing is somewhat similar in that regard.
Great points you make, agree with it 100%, take your time and enjoy the journey