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Hands




Last night, while reading this I took a break to rest my eyes and noticed the wrinkles on my arm.

I thought “I’m getting old. Soon, more and more of my skin will look like this.”

Suddenly, one thought filled my mind, or rather, seized it and shook me- I don’t want to die, I’ve wasted so much time already.

It’s not that I’m afraid to die. I’m not. But it was like I suddenly was filled with the knowledge of how much time I had already lost and wasted. How much of my life I hadn’t appreciated. How fast it all goes. The utter reality that one day I would not be here, and I needed to accept it.

For someone who never really thought of life as something worth missing, this is a pretty huge step for me, and a good indication that my meds are working. I’m sure everyone else has these thoughts normally, but I haven’t.

I’ve always labored under the assumption that I would die, and that it would end the unrelenting bullshit of my life. So I never viewed it as something dire, or at least worth living against. But suddenly, the wrinkles on my hands, at the crease of my elbow took on new meaning.



I’m 29, and suddenly, violently, I want to live. 10 years ago, I knew that I would die at 30, or at least before that. I could see nothing beyond 30, couldn’t envision myself as a parent, a grandparent, as anyone living old. Suddenly I want to hold my grandchildren in my arms.

I look at my hands and I can still see the hands of my youth overlaid. And yet I can also see the hands of an old woman not so far off. I can see wisdom, I can see knowledge. My body aches and twinges sometimes with such ferocity that I wonder if something might fall off, such as now, as pain shoots through my elbow and into my arm. I know that my body is not that of a 17 year old any longer.

Do I wish to go back and change anything? Not really. I live my life by a hard and fast rule of regret only what you’ve done, not what you haven’t. I wouldn’t trade my brain for all the smooth skin and smaller hips in the world. I’ve worked hard to become the me that I never thought I would be. And I kinda like her.

But to suddenly want to LIVE, it was the most incredible sensation I’ve had in awhile. It was so forceful and real, and pure. A crystal shot of life coursing through my veins, where before only sadness and death once lay, it was this perfect little moment in time for me.

I make it sound like I found gawd or something. And I sorta did. I’ve found ME again.


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I had an "aha" moment just like this a few days ago. I always imagined that I would never make it past 27. I'm 27 this year, and in 3 short months I'll be 28. I've noticed wrinkles near my eyes, and some on my hands that remind me of my mother's hands when I was small.

For me, it terrifies me to think that this is what it's all about. Work. Eat. Sleep. Commute. Consume. Since becoming a parent, I feel like my life has just been a long race. And the finish line being what? Death? The revelation has hit me hard and has me contemplating a major life change.

I want to live too. But I want out of the rat race.

This makes me happy.

Not that anyone looks forward to the day when their skin looks like scrotum.

But life is worth living.

*clapping*

It's sometimes easy to remember that life is good and sometimes a bit more difficult...

I'm glad now is an easy time :-)

Once I got past 30 I began to "worry" a lot less about the rat race and the work/eat/sleep thing. I thought about all the thousands of generations of humans who did the same things before me. And I thought of all the ones ahead of me, including my own son. I take comfort in that. Why? Let's face it, that's life. It's what humans do. We live, we amuse ourselves and we die.

I used to think that "famous" people lived better lives. Then I think about Shakespeare. He was a working writer who had to pay the bills, he was a hen-pecked husband who spent much of his time away from his family, he eat and slept and worked just like everyone else. Ultimately, he died. Sure, we celebrate him today, but he's still dead :-)

None of us are getting off this planet alive, so we might as well enjoy the ride and try to make it a little more pleasurable for those around us...

-Tom

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