These days I find myself reminiscing a lot. Usually its music that takes me back.
A song on the radio, one played while I work or perhaps that tune that suddenly haunts my mind and will not go away. The problem is I have caught myself questioning a lot of things like I would never have imagined myself doing in the past. I have even caught myself thinking it might be nice just to be dead. I wonder, is this what all mid-50’s people think? You get up and you feel the aches and pains and then you look in the mirror and this wrinkled, rumpled, worn out and overweight looking creature stares back and you think – Who the fuck is that? Of course, you know it’s you……. and that it is only going to get worse.
I tend to think about how simple life used to be. No mobile phones, no internet, no need for passwords and vigilance about security. Travel was fun because you really had time to get somewhere and back again. Now its all just a blur of another flight and airport and everyone of them feels and looks the same. I also think about the opportunities I have had, the people I knew and encountered and wonder why I didn’t find the time to keep up with them all. I think about the women I met and the potential for love that I turned down due to some weird misconceptions about sex, love and everything. I wonder why I didn’t take the opportunities that passed me by because I was too afraid to fail, look silly or because I was simply too lazy. I also think about how time used to seem plentiful and abundant whereas now it feels limited and gone in an instant.
I look at the kids as well and I think youth is wasted on them. I know it sounds weird but if I could be their age knowing what I know now….. good God I would take such advantage of all the opportunities they don’t even see. And people everywhere are wrapped up in nonsense thinking it is important when it is not….
It’s not that I wish myself dead or anything. I fully expect to live and live hard a while yet. It’s just this feeling that somehow, somewhere my life slipped like sand grains between my fingers.
I have changed inside as well as outside and here is the problem. My center of being has shifted and the rules I lived by no longer apply. I look back on myself and wonder what would it have been like if I could have known this then?
Recently, I heard myself say to my partner that I am successful at anything I turn my mind to. I expect to be successful and I know I will succeed. I had to catch myself at that moment and contrast it with the 18-year old me that had so little confidence that he wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
For some reason though, rather than spending all my time looking forward to something like I did back then, I now sit on the fulcrum of my life and seem to spend time looking out in both directions wishing I had the power equally to change the past as I know I can change the future. The funny thing is, many of the things I thought mattered do not matter at all and many of the things I took for granted now seem critical. I wonder how I will feel in 30-years time?
Did I have any impact?
Did I make a difference?
Did I work a little inner gold?