Or can it?
It occurred to me that my late husband had died 9 years ago already. Yet, even with the pain, he was very young when he died, both physically and mentally, just 54.
I passed 50 a few weeks ago and though there are the inevitable creaks in the joints from years of dancing and walking, I feel as young as ever, just more confident in myself, more at ease than say 30 years ago. I kind of like growing older.
Vanity, of course, tells me I'm glad I have kept my figure, glad that the few wrinkles I have are laughter lines and that my hair isn't going grey yet.
But inevitably, time is moving forward with that inexorable determination, and I know that my body will respond at some point by slowing down or seizing up. Energy levels will fall and in all honesty, I can't say whether I am halfway through my life, like my great grandmother who lived till 99 or almost done, like my late husband.
And this applies to all of us, no matter what our ages.
My father died at 42, my best friend at 40, my sons’ best friend at 15.
Yet we all seem to suffer from inertia. The things we want to do with our lives are put on back burners for a 'later' that may not happen. The changes we wish to see in ourselves and in our lives are too often allowed to simply meander along.
My youngest son wants to 'do' something with his life. He's 21, but doesn't really know precisely what he wants to do, except make a difference and experience more of the world than this little corner. I keep trying to encourage him to take a leap of faith and go do whatever is in his heart. But being a sensible lad, with a decent job that keeps him independent and allows him to maintain his motorbike, the leap from security and self sufficiency scares him, I think.
And I have the feeling that many of us lose sight of our dreams for a similar reason. It is one thing to be sensible and practical, but sometimes we need to balance that against our dreams, I feel, and take that leap in the dark.
We may have ten thousand tomorrows, or only one, and few of us know the extent of our mortality. We don't know when age will affect us, when, for each of us, our bodies will be too old to climb to Macchu Picchu or our minds wander into senility and lose the control so necessary to the things we are hoping to do. Will my hands shake too much to paint that one great picture? Or my memory last long enough to finish my novel? And do I have time to wait?
Age and Time are not enemies. They are the natural rhythm of life and should be embraced. Inertia is a choice we make and perhaps the greatest enemy of all.
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