Today is a milestone. It seemed so far away, so long ago. In one’s youth, which you are sure will never end, there are no thoughts of aging. There are times when you wished you were older, for lots of reasons. Can’t wait to get out of the house. Stop bossing me around, etc. No time, none, was wasted thinking about middle age or old age. And that’s exactly the way it should be.
But the arrow of time is strict and true and flies in only one direction. At least as far as we know. Our brains have an astounding ability to monitor time. Down to parts of a second. However, wrapping our minds around large blocks of passing time, to look out over the horizon of our hurtling life, is not as easy. There are examples everywhere. Where does the time go? Is it almost Thanksgiving? How did that happen? I’m short on time, so give me the quick version.
Then there’s that chilling bit of lyric in Pink Floyd’s classic song Time.
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.
Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.
In my 20’s that song was on an endless loop and every once in a while I would think. Yeah, I should get busy.
Today I am 65 years old. I feel somewhat prepared for it. At least I think so. Retired from the formal working world, having put in forty-two years. My first official day of work was the day Elvis Presley died, August 16, 1977. I was getting ready to report to work in a local bookstore when the news came over the television.
I had the good fortune of never having been without a job during that time. Was not fired, laid off, furloughed or pushed out. That is as much about luck as anything else.
I am in good health, but of course I’m slower and more forgetful. Many of my body parts ache and my skin is thinning. I cannot reverse it.
Growing old is not for the timid. In fact, my recommendation is don’t do it.
One must try and see the positive things in all situations. I am more pleasant now, I believe. I smile more easily and am less cranky. I see beauty everywhere. Age is the gift of time, but time doesn’t come with an instruction manual. It doesn’t care if you waste it or use it wisely. Kill time and you murder success the saying goes. That is mostly true.
I have a wonderful, beautiful wife and two amazing sons. Even in these stressful times I feel more secure now than ever. Perhaps I am growing up. And not a minute too soon.
Time written by: David Jon Gilmour / Nicholas Berkeley Mason / George Roger Waters / Richard William Wright