September 24th, 2014
“Time, time, time… see what’s become of me…”
– Hazy Shade of Winter by Paul Simon
Time is moving too fast and I don’t like it anymore.
It isn’t about vanity or youth. I’m not afraid of getting old, losing my looks, or not knowing the names of celebrities on covers of magazines that I don’t read. To be honest, I never enjoyed being young, anyway. It’s over-rated, and even at the time, I knew it. I couldn’t wait to get older and so far, I’ve enjoyed it. The lines around my eyes – the inability to tolerate anyone under 30 years old – the utter confusion I experience while trying to operate one of those hip cellular phone contraptions – I’ve considered these things very fair trades for the freedom, self-confidence, and personal empowerment of age. Maybe I’ll feel differently in another twenty years – I don’t know – but I like where I am now: young enough to have a future and old enough to have a past.
But the passage of time itself… it’s eerie, isn’t it? The way it creeps and crawls, slithering as it steals hours, days, weeks… years; it’s a thief of the deadliest, quietest kind. It makes you look back and take inventory, to be sure. And today seems to be a good day for looking back a little.
I can say with full conviction that I have no regrets, and in that, I know, I am lucky. I’m not sorry about my choices, but I do sometimes wonder what the hell I was thinking. It’s never the actions I took that bother me; it’s the actions I didn’t take – the time that I wasted. I feel lucky that I’m 37 years old rather than 57 or 67, and that is a great comfort to me on the days I get down on myself for all the time I spent being afraid and doing what I was told.
But still, just a minute ago, it was 1994. That means the next 20 years will likely come – and go – just as fast. And yeah… that kind of bothers me. I only hope I know myself a little more this time around, and that instead of going whichever way the general flow takes me, I have the smarts and spine to continue carving out my own path. After nearly 10 years of concentrated effort and near-ruthless intent, I’m finally on to a few good things in life; things I have to protect, defend, preserve, and foster. I know circumstances change and that anything can happen. I can’t control everything in the universe, but I can – and will – make sure that anyone who puts an unwelcomed, obstructing hand into my affairs pulls back a bloody stump.
Maybe this makes me an asshole. I don’t think so, but maybe. Really, I just don’t feel I have time to waste. That’s the one thing I do miss about being young: the sense that time is unlimited. But time even takes that from us, though in this case, I think it’s a good thing. It’s forced me to move. It’s made me aware. I know now that I don’t have all the time in the world, and I consider that a profound – though sometimes painful – grace.
I know I don’t have time for a lot of things. I don’t have time to wait for inspiration. I don’t have time to complain about what I should have done. I don’t have time for television. I don’t have time to argue about things I can’t control with people who don’t agree. I don’t have time to pursue unfulfilling relationships, and I don’t have time to wait until there’s enough time to do whatever it is that needs to be done. I have to make time… and that is my best – if not only – defense against that sneaky little thief called Time.