June 12, 2009

Time is Slipping Away from Me

Part of the impact of turning 40 has been a near obsession with the impact of time on my life. It is not that I expect or am worried that I am going to die any time soon.

The genetic makeup of old Jack is good. Two grandparents who are 95, a grandfather who lived into his nineties and other relatives who made it past the century mark are reassuring. Truth is that I expect to outlive a lot of people, it is my fate. That is not supposed to be arrogant, just a feeling. Hard enough to bury friends now, but to outlive many is a different story.

Anyway, I live with this contradiction. I have this belief that I have a minimum of 50 years left to walk the earth and this fear that I am not getting enough out of life now. There is an enormous list of things that I want to do. It includes the simple task of just building my vocabulary and more complex desires such as my interest in going back to school to get degrees in a variety of fields.

Scratch that, I'd like to become an expert in a bunch of fields. Anthropology, history, science, medicine and more. One of the reasons that I am constantly reading is because I find so many things to be of interest.

But there isn't time to read and learn the way that I'd like to. You see I have these responsibilities, family, mortgage, retirement and what have you that get in the way. There are these little people that run around the house calling me names like dad, daddy and abba.

Sometimes they call and I look for my dad. I may be 40 but they can't possibly be talking to me, can they. Actually they can. I can say that they look and act like me, so they must be mine.

So many things to do and so little time to do them. I find it frustrating to do things that I don't like or don't find fulfilling. There is this fire burning inside of me and a little voice that whispers. The murmuring sound in my ear makes me a bit crazy, what if something happens. What if I don't have as much time as I think, am I getting enough out of life.

That is part of the balancing act we undergo each day. The question of how much of our own happiness needs to be subjugated for our children and our responsibilities. We can't ignore them. We can't just walk away and do exactly what we want.

But we can't just ignore them either. There is a finite amount of time to live and I can't accept not getting more out of it. I can't accept not trying to suck the marrow out.

If you don't have any regrets than you haven't allowed yourself to live and if you don't take a chance you are making a mistake. It is all about balance and it requires constant readjustment.

Anyhoo, it is getting late so I'll sign off for now. More to come on this topic.


rabbi neil fleischmann said...

I like these thoughtful, ruminative posts.

Jack said...

Thank you. I kind of enjoy them.

Baconeater said...

This is the major reason why I think suicide of someone who isn't terminally ill is the stupidest thing one can do.
You don't like your life, start over, or read and become an expert on another topic.

Jack said...


I hear you. It is a question of finding a way to pull yourself out of depression long enough to try something new.