I don’t remember being this old. I certainly don’t feel it in my bones (well, sometimes, I do). I’m 44. It seems a higher number than I recall. Where did my thirties go? I blinked, and they passed like a whisper on the wind–never to be heard again.
I look in the mirror, and the face looking back at me is older than the man seeing it feels. The eyelids droop with the inexorable pull of gravity, there’s an extra chin which seems to have sprouted fully-formed when I wasn’t looking. How did that happen? How did I get here? One cheek has a slight concavity from the nightly wearing of a CPAP head strap. Sleep apnea? Isn’t that something that old, overweight men suffer from? Oh, wait
I don’t remember growing older… It just happened one day when I wasn’t looking. I went to bed one night, and awoke middle aged. I went to bed with hopes, dreams, and aspirations, and awakened to a job I’ve been at for nearly a fourth of my life. Time, seemingly so slow to pass when I was young, feels more and more like the “Kessel Run” (of Star Wars fame): like the smuggler Han Solo, it wants to do its business undetected, and as quickly as possible (so as not to attract any attention), and in less than twelve parsecs.
It’s robbing me of my energy, sapping my creative will… The gap between what I hoped to have done, and what I’ve actually done, is ever-widening. (Publish a book? Hah! When do you have time, and energy to write? To really write?).
Will I bridge that gap? Will you?
Carpe diem, my friends. We each of us just have one day to pursue our dreams. We each are alotted one life, one that is lived, and has only ever been lived, on one day:
We–you, me, all of us–have it in us. Have the energy, the courage, the fortitude to face today. As C.S. Lewis once said, “The future comes at all of us at the same rate: sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes per hour.”
We don’t know how many minutes, or hours, we’ll be given.
So let’s make them count, shall we?