Today, with far greater sense of urgency and far clearer sense of meaning – grabbing life, grabbing myself by the balls, does more than make me stand taller. Creating the life we want, if only on a page, a stage or a screen we only see in our mind – has no expiry date, has no best-before date. Every page we’ve ever read, every minute of drama we’ve watched on stage or screen – was created by someone. Some were twenty, but not many.
In THE BEGINNING, created by parents, remaining long after they’ve shuttled off this mortal coil, we inhabit their values, DNA and influences, but need never be limited by their vision. Like every parent, ever, high hopes, but no real clue to progeny’s future.
In my view, too many people sport an ‘I no longer have expectations of myself’ date.
Not stamped on their foreheads.
Might as well be.
Each time I meet someone recently retired, about to retire or waxing eloquently about retirement’s virtues I’m caught somewhere between gag-reflex and wanting to scratch my eyes out. Dramatic language, yes. I’m not meaning everybody, but ‘everybody who wants to put their feet up and not use/work/advance their brain’ in retirement. Gagging …
Everyone of any age has two views.
And one forward.
Behind us, our best-before-accomplishments.
All ahead is 100% our own creation.
Newer/younger versions accomplish more. I cannot do physical work at twenty-somethings pace, but keep going long after they’ve gone home for the day.
They have better education, a better start. Good.
They are the future.
So am I …
We’ve wasted cycles of consumerism, worked, ate, slept, spent, played. Went through motions. We deserve neither credit nor blame for times when too little was learned, too little value created. Not too late to do something about that…
‘Best before dates’ are just guidelines.
Is life like that?
Our best, what has gone before?
Or is our best in front of us?
When a product has been on the shelf beyond its forecasted date, it’s ready for trashing. Might be. But we should taste it before trashing.
Ahead, so much opportunity, so much to do, so many directions. I could never pursue them all – so much to be done. Can’t relive my past, I’m focused on a better finish.
At twenty there was urgency – but it was about other things. It was about keeping a job, earning a living, planning a future (though much of it got made-up as I went along). My urgency was about immediate and temporary things without appreciation of what a future might look like, feel like – and that the power to create it was in my own hands. And yes, many opportunities slipped through my fingers. But, my fingers at least touched those opportunities …
My best might be behind me. Yes ladies, it’s a nice one.
Best is yet to come.
I’ve never known that better or more clearly.
If you are alive, thrive.
If not, it’s THE END of you.
No guarantee I’ll change this world. But I might. No guaranteed I’ll do anything lasting, but I might. No way to know if I’ll last one more night, but I might. True at twenty, true today – for me.
How about you?
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk with Gusta: 15C/58F, gusty breeze, clear sky … inspiration with every step (ouch, achilles hurting), a day filled with memory and some sadness, some dreams and some gladness – world can hurt me but not stop me, something about this walk has me fired up and anxious to type faster …. Meanwhile Gusta lays patiently expecting breakfast momentarily.