I’m convinced that the world is a wonderful place even with the horrors everywhere. I still believe in us.
Recently I was quietly working away at my computer, diligently delving into something important. I don’t remember what it was. But I had a sudden urge that forced me away from my computer and my oh so important work and into the kitchen. It was at that moment surrounded by my refrigerator and my stove that I suddenly wondered why I was there! Fortunately I was all alone and my stupidity was not apparent to anyone else other than my cat. However I’m sharing it with you for one very important reason: it is happening to us all!
My mother referred to her momentary lapses of memory as her Senior Moments. My mother was entitled, she had been around for 89 years! That’s a whole lot of stuff to remember! I don’t have quite as much stuff oozing around my brain. I have not lived through a depression or a world war. I haven’t raised three children and saw the evolution of technology. But I still think I’ve got lots of stuff to remember. I had a wonderful childhood, I did the university thing and college. I have traveled and I have had boyfriends. Some were good, and some were bad. That’s the traveling and the boyfriends! But I am also significantly younger than 89 years.
As I was in the kitchen trying to remember what on earth I was there for, it struck me as quite funny. Three seconds later it struck me as quite sad. Since I’m a positive person by nature I went back to the funny. I maintain that the space between our ears is finite. As we gain new memories each and every day we need to delete some of the unimportant stuff in order to make room for the new stuff. Think of it as cleaning out your closet to make room for more shoes. I like that analogy. I like shoes.
I can remember so many incidents from my childhood that there are more than a few I would be willing to forget. I would even give up some of my memories from University. Actually there are some memories from University I would like to delete from the cosmos! Okay, but it was fun! Aren’t we all in the same boat? There are things we would like to forget and things we pray that we will be able to remember for the rest of our lives. I have a wonderful memory of kissing a boy at the edge of a lake under the moon on a warm summer’s night. I am so not given up that memory!
Have you ever walked into a crowded room and felt as if no one was aware of you? It is almost as if you are invisible. Well that happens to me with some regularity although it is usually at a busy street intersection with many, many cars whizzing by. Am I a wee bit nervous? Yes. Now to state a few pertinent facts. The intersection in question has a ‘walk’ symbol that is very clear to both drivers and pedestrians. The roadway is not visually blocked in any way. Physically I stand about 5’5”, sitting in a wheelchair I am sure I am more than 4’ high. While my particular wheelchair is not the largest on the market it is still quite substantial. And yet, I have been narrowly missed by cars far too many times. Why? One theory (my own in fact) is that I have joined the ranks of the Invisible People. Who are these transparent travelers, these wraithlike wanderers? Basically they are anyone who works or moves in virtual anonymity. They are there but we don’t see or acknowledge them. It happens a hundred times a day. People lead busy lives, they don’t have the time or the energy to see or respond to the dozens if not hundreds of people they come into contact with. There is the guy who took your ticket on the subway, the kid who gave you your coffee and bagel, the cleaning staff at your office, the list is endless. Some people make the effort to acknowledge these people, but most do not. That is sad. Every single person you come into contact with in your busy life is a man or a woman that is important. The woman who brings your mail promptly every day, the guy who keeps your streets clean, the individual who changes the burnt out bulb in your local street light. These people are around, sometimes in our sight lines, sometimes not, but they are there. The next time you see someone watering the plants on the boulevard, say hi! Maybe it will become a trend and we will finally really see each other. Maybe next time they will see me in the intersection.
We may not be able to control it but how we deal with it affects our character. When we were children it was immaterial. As youths it was something that would never end. As adults we never seem to find enough of it. As seniors, it is moving far too quickly. We used to look back on it in terms of seconds or minutes. Then it became days, weeks or even years. Now it is decades in the multiples. Where has it gone?
Time passes, time flies, time waits for no man, a stitch in time…..lots of sayings, no control. And I think if there’s one thing that we really do want to control, it is time.
Maybe, just maybe we can control it, or rather the perception of it. We need to learn how to relish what time we have. When we were children we wanted to stay up just a little bit later. We wanted to stay outside just a little bit longer. We hungered for the day when we were old enough to do things on our own. We couldn’t wait for time to pass! As adolescents we couldn’t wait until we were old enough to go out and have a drink, legally. We wanted to drive a car and have a boyfriend but we weren’t old enough. We wanted time to pass in a hurry. As adults we wish we could make time stand still. I need just little more time to finish that article. Another five minutes before I have to get out of bed. And before you know it we reach senior status and time once again stands still and at the same time it races to the finish line. I have seen seniors sitting with nothing to do. Their days seem to go on endlessly as they wait. Then there are the seniors that don’t spend their time waiting, they use their time! There are bus trips to take, paintings to paint, parties to attend! They wring every last second out of the time they have to get the most enjoyment possible! A lesson everyone could benefit from.
Life is a journey, hopefully one full of joy and accomplishment. One of my favourite sayings is “we are here for a good time, not a long time”. Of course we can always hope it is a ‘good, long time’!
Time changes us. Sometimes the change is positive, sometimes it is not. I am not the same person I was 10 years ago. I believe I’m a better person, that I have grown positively. And I believe that in another 10 years I will be an even better person. But there have been changes that were not always positive. My hair is more blonde than red. My clothes fit a little differently than when I was 16. It’s a trade-off. I still have my winning smile and my wicked sense of humour! So while I am a different person than I was at 25, I am still me. Today I would not want to be the person I was at 15. In the world of magic I would like to be the person I am today with the body I had at 19, hair colour I had at nine and the health I had at 16. Life was good. Life is good. Life will be good.