I love looking at old photos. I don’t even mind if I don’t know any of the people in them. Imagining their hopes and dreams, loves and sorrows, histories and relationships is fun. One thing that always strikes me, though, is that it seems life was over so quickly for the people in those photos. Does anyone even remember them? Will I be a stranger in a photo someday?
I am old. Older than I’ve ever been. I guess that is always true. With my latest age has come a realization that life is short. I find myself thinking thoughts that many before me have also thought:
- There is nothing new under the sun.
- Why are we here?
- What is the meaning of life?
- Have I made a difference?
- We’ll all be dead in 60 years.
I find myself camping on this last idea. Perhaps it is my way to gaining a calm life. If I am aware that life is short then worry and stress seem a waste of time. Finding the answer to how best spend my time seems easier, too. If I screw around all day, sleep in one morning, do whatever the hell I want I simply remember that it doesn’t matter because…..we’ll all be dead in 60 years.
Thankfully I also really enjoy hard work and being creative, hanging out with friends and family, being of use, doing the day-to-day mundane stuff. And with my new attitude I enjoy it all the more because the pressure is off, expectations are lowered, the outcome is not as important.
The handiest thing is when I think/worry about other people’s problems I have an easier time realizing that it will be okay if they screw it up as they won’t have long to suffer because…we’ll all be dead in 60 years.
The truth is probably this is just a way for me to get past growing old and wrinkled. I’ll soon just be a stranger in an old photo and no one will even remember that I have wrinkles! Wrapping one’s head around finite time is something everyone must surely do. It is my turn, I guess.