The time it took me to write this blog can’t be taken back. Damn!

About the time of the lugubrious demise of my second marriage, which
coincided iniquitously with the death of my father, I came to understand
all the multihued dimensions of the admonition “don’t buy the green
bananas.” And I would add, “everything changes.”

Can many individuals under the age of thirty-five genuinely understand the meaning of ‘temporary’ and the fact that it is the transitory nature of
everything that is the only constant in our lives on the planet? Possibly
war veterans and those poor souls who have undergone major trauma at an early age can. The rest of us are blindsided when the fleeting nature of life begins to manifest itself, as it invariably does once we reach a certain juncture in our span on earth.

There is a misapprehension — albeit a natural belief, and a needed belief — when we are young that if we work and strive in a certain direction, towards a career, a marriage, a family, or whatever else it is we’re trying to attain at an ongoing level, that once we reach our goal there will be a plateau of sorts upon which we can rest and reap the rewards of our efforts. In answer to that idea, my simple answer is – “Ha – ain’t a gonna happen.”

I once heard that every decade of one’s life passes (in the mind) twice as rapidly as the one that preceded it. Thus, the time from birth to age ten, when all the learning needed to survive in the human sphere is acquired, when the bulk of our physical growth takes place, and we are left on the cusp of entering sexual maturity, seems to take eons to pass.

Age ten to twenty, on the other hand, still a time of huge growth doesn’t in retrospect feel that it was near as long. Twenty to thirty, thirty to forty, and so on, pass away with increasing rapidity. Does the person of ninety feel that eighty was only a blink of time? That’s the impression I get from old folks with whom I’ve spoken.

Kurt Weill said it best: “And the days dwindle down to a precious few – September, November …”

“One day I looked in the mirror and there was an old woman looking back at me,” said my late mother-in-law when she was about seventy. “I didn’t feel any different, so how did this happen?” If she didn’t know, then I sure as hell don’t know so, sorry, I cannot provide an answer to that question. I just know that it does happen — and it happens fast.

As our days go on, it comes as an unwelcome visitation into what we
perceived as a natural order, to find that change, not constancy, is the
process of life. We, a mass of cells consisting of a larger mass of atoms,
all in constant motion, are also in constant motion in a universe in constant motion. We are liquid, and why should our life affairs be any different? They can’t be. It’s an elementary law of physics.

Consequently, the person who attains maturity in middle age will be the one who not only recognizes this truth, but who also, and more importantly, accepts it. It’s in the accepting where the courage is demanded. So, if you need aphorisms with which to guide yourself through this passage, there is only two of consequence.

The first is: Don’t trust anything to stay the same.

The other is: This too shall pass.

Sucks to be us mortals, but we have no choice.

(By the way, I didn’t write the foregoing because I felt morose. Just reflective.)


8 responses to “The time it took me to write this blog can’t be taken back. Damn!

  1. It will all pass, eventually and passes all too quickly for some. I am thinking of my stepbrother who passed away in 2010 at the age of 56 and my mother who never reached 60. She was not a great example to follow, so I am happy to have others in my life for that. I once heard someone say, “Only the lucky get to be old.”

  2. The most bizarre thing to me, hitting 50, was the realization that I’ve got more done than left to do, and that I’m heading into that age where you pretty much become invisible. How did that happen?

  3. “Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” is a quote that runs through my mind more and more as I get older and my joints creak and there seem to be more aches and pains. I think H.L. Mencken first said this although it is often attributed to Bette Davis. Whoever, whatever. I do catch myself saying ” tempus fugit” etc more often and then remind myself I beginning to sound like my parents did! Crikey!

  4. I’ve heard it was Bette Davis, but as a fan of his work and thought process, I’d happily ascribe it to Mencken. The awful part is that it’s true. Soldier on, I guess because that seems to be preferable to the alternative.

  5. I always knew I’d get old…only the good die young.

  6. I’m so goofy that after I read this post I had to go look in the mirror. I always forget what I look like. Also I have some sort of mirror amnesia (insanity?) in that I think I’ve always looked pretty much the same forever. Photographs, however, always shock me. I don’t feel like I look old, just fat. I guess the fat fills out my skin so I have few wrinkles. I usually forget that I’m 50 and will just jump right into conversations with 20 and 30 something guys in a bar about sports or whats in the news. Rarely one of them may look weirded out and then I will remember that I am 50. But usually we have a fun talk and tell jokes. This new younger generation is probably used to people my age that can’t seem to grow up. All I know is I have done tons of fun stuff and I’m still having fun. As the famous doc once wrote, “It is fun to have fun but you have to know how.”

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