You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.
I like to say I was born a hundred years old and I’m getting younger every day. I was born extremely responsible.
I had so little freedom I was very very very careful how I spent it.
In hindsight I am pretty sure I invested well. But like Tomas says in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the only way to know if it was the best choice is to live one’s life all the way through with that choice and then go back and live it all the way through with the other choice.
And that’s not possible, so we have to make the choice.
I made my choices.
I’m reading Less, about a man who made very few choices in his life. He fell into a long life-sharing relationship with a poet who won the Pulitzer. Arther Less is famous mostly for knowing this famous person. A supporting character in his own life. And now he is struggling with turning 50.
Have you heard of this book? In a terribly unimaginative life-imitating-fiction, the book itself won a Pulitzer.
It’s hard for me to tell what is supposed to be ironic and what is unintentionally so. It seems that it was meant to be absurd.
But the thing about turning 50 is it is intrinsically absurd.
Things that were impossible, inconceivable 25 years before have become commonplace. By this time we’ve learned how to pull the levels of power and can move the earth.
Prime of life, indeed. I know how to get a lot of stuff done.
Now it’s a matter of what do I want to do?
Now that I have pulled these levers, what is worth the effort? The stuff I can do didn’t happen by accident. I know the cost now and I’m a little less willing to pay it for no reason.
But I’m not like Pink Floyd. I was not one to kill time. I’m far more willing to waste it now. Tomas is right. I might have jumped that gun and been running full out for ten years in the wrong direction.
I can’t know now.
The best I can do is pay attention to what I like, and do that enough times in a row to start a trend.