I woke up one day last week with a distinct feeling that I didn’t want to die.
My sister would say that there’s no use thinking about it because it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. However, while this is pragmatic, there are still a few hundred philosophers, a few thousand religions, a few million books and a few billion people who have discussed the thought of dying and its implications on our lives. The fact that I’m thinking about it is the antithesis of unique. Been there, done that. Except that I’ve never died before, and I’ll only do it once, so it’s kind of a big deal to me. (And individually to everyone else on the planet.)
My dream was more about my age. I’m 52. It’s a great age, for me. I’m proud of what I’ve managed to do and learn and be. I haven’t wasted my life, by the definition that I made for myself of what a wasted life would have looked like to me. There were many things that I didn’t want to do or become, and I’ve avoided those. But there’s so little time left!
Just a few years ago, as a teacher, I began to realize that I couldn’t really remember what it was like to be a teenager. I thought I could, but I was way off. I’ve forgotten, and needed to forget, what it was like to have “endless” time before me. I say I “needed to forget” because I don’t have endless time. If there’s anything I want to do, or anything I want to learn, I’d better get started on it now.
There is one funny thing about this age crisis, though, is that it makes me have so much more pity for the kids I teach. There is one, this young man…if you could film him now and then show it to him in ten years time, he’d never believe what an annoying brat he was. He just makes me laugh so much, because he thinks he’s so with it, so cool and he’s so not. He’ll be fine, I mean, you can tell he’s smart. But until then, wow. Poor kid.
In any case, time to go get some work done today….