Wrestling With Time and Dinosaurs
The nameless group we refer to as “they say” includes a comment about how the first step in overcoming a problem is to admit you have one.
I am not convinced that hearing a clock ticking in my head is such a thing.
Maybe it would cause more alarm if I was Captain Hook and I was worried about a crocodile coming after me, but I have both hands and no reason to worry about vengeful dinosaurs.
And while it is fair to say that I share some qualities with Peter Pan, I can’t fly, don’t live on an island with the Lost Boys, and am clearly by every measure a man in my forties.
Or to quote my daughter, I admit that I am closer to 50 than to 40 which is precisely why 50 no longer sounds old to me.
Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock
I don’t know when I noticed the sound of the clock inside my head but once it showed up it became a fixture that I pass every day, in some ways no different than any other landmark I see during my daily routine.
Except this one makes a noise that I can sometimes drown out but never ignore for long. It reminds me of all of the things I have to do, and all that I want to do, and how there is never enough time to do it all.
It isn’t for lack of desire, organization or money that some of these things won’t happen either.
It is simply because I won’t live long enough to do it all.
I can’t possibly be a doctor, scientist, writer, teacher, salesman or professor in one life, at least not the way I want to.
There won’t be time to do a proper job, obtain the experience and expertise and make a difference in these areas, so I have to pick and choose what to focus upon.
Twenty-five years ago I never worried about these things because I was on the golden road of unlimited time and opportunity, but somewhere along the way I hit a bump and took a detour.
Somewhere along the way I became a passenger on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and that bastard never stops for anything. If you want to get out you have to jump out of the car and take the beating that comes with flying into objects at warp speed.
Part of me doesn’t mind that because I wasn’t built for grace; I was built for demolition. I stride around a room like a cat, I lumber like the damn Taurus I am.
Responsibilities and Solutions
Twenty-five years ago I didn’t have any other responsibilities to worry about. I was truly my own man in every sense of the word but that changed and it was my choice to make the change.
Don’t misunderstand this to mean that I regret that because I don’t – but you can’t know what you haven’t experienced.
I thought I had a good idea about what would happen with marriage and children, but I didn’t understand the weight and pressure that comes with accepting that kind of responsibility.
It didn’t occur to me how many times I would subjugate my desire to try something, or to push my career because I didn’t want my children to live a nomadic life.
We live the life our family defines for us, and that's okay. #pureblogging
I wanted them to have the sort of stability I had when I was a kid and for the most part they have. They are thriving and every time I see them I know that even though we are winging it like all parents do, we’re mostly getting it right.
But the thing is, they are in high school and middle school now so I can sort of see a light in the distance and I recognize that time is moving at warp speed.
The day is coming when they will be on their own and I can shift the focus more clearly again upon what I want to do with my life, without the primary focus being on them.
Except that freedom comes at a price and it is one that is paid with a limited resource.
I’ll be older than I am now when that moment hits and though I can speculate I can’t say precisely how old I’ll be.
Since I don’t know how long I’ll live I don’t know how much time I’ll have left. I have no reason to believe that I am going to die young, but no one knows the future.
Hence the tick tock in my head and my quest to find the things that quiet that noise and give me peace of mind.
I don’t need a perfect solution here, nor do I expect to find one, but I need something.
A Simple Plan
For now the idea is to work hard to live each day and to be present in the moments.
It is to do my best not to waste time on crap I hate and or things that take away from the important stuff.
It is to dance in the fire and to roll with the tide as it comes in and out each day.
And I’ll do the best I can so that each night when I close my eyes, I’ll do so knowing I did what I could do that day and that will have to be enough.