Relationships should not be a trade-off between one’s personal integrity and the avoidance of loneliness.
Socrates is supposed to have said that ‘the unexamined life is not worth living’.
But the ‘over examined life’ sounds so unhappy and neurotic as to be not worth living either.
Like many things in life, there is probably a middle ground.
Photo by MassiveKontent
Success is being able to spend your life doing what you want to do. That’s it.
And, because what you want to do is not exactly the same as what others want to do, success is entirely subjective.
Success is like happiness. Other people’s subjective feelings or definitions of happiness cannot make you happy. Other people’s definitions of success cannot make you successful. It’s deeply personal and unique.
Which means that, actually finding out what you really want to do may be the harder part.
It’s also worth noting that, if what it takes for you to feel successful is harder, then it will be harder for you to be successful. This is neither good nor bad – it just is.
Photo by Anne Worner
Your current perspective on your past alters the past
Because you access your past through your memories.
You never get that time back, or back to that time.
Photo by ™ Pacheco
When you see an elderly person
Or anyone struggling with (…or against?) the inevitable march of time
You could see an opportunity to remember your common humanity
And to share the burden of the human condition.
You could see as a chance to remember that,
As carbon based life – we were given these amazing but fragile bodies
Prone to errors in repair and replication
And quickly breaking down
This is neither good, nor bad – it just is.
And so, this person in front of you is an opportunity
To remember that we are all dying together
…although this particular person is probably closer to the end point than you are
And probably feeling the pull more than you are.
And, no matter how well he’s taking it
(…we do hope he’s taking it well)
Maybe he can teach you something by his example
Perhaps to treasure your youth whilst you have it
No matter how old you are.
When I look at an ‘old person’
Dealing with what appears to be this slow catastrophe
This thing we call ageing
I can’t help but feel some admiration.
I watch him weathering the storm;
But there he is
And I can’t help thinking;
That’ll be me one day, if something else doesn’t get me first
Maybe I can learn something through his example
‘Youth’ as an idea is slippery slope
Such a relative concept
I remember some acquaintances from when I was 11
(…those a little too old to be properly called my friends)
Men, I suppose, in their early 20s who seemed so old, strong, distinguished, unknowable
Now I am 29, these fresh faced 22 year olds
Worry me with their youth and their inexperience
They affect me with the things they have already done with their short lives
What they might yet do.
I look at them with a sense of loss that I can’t help but feel
I lament the hours I feel that I wasted when I was their age
They too, in their own and very unintentional way, are a memento:
I’m 29 – not old exactly ‘old’,
But there they are all the same
Being many years my junior
And with them is a sense of the abrasive nature of time
Wearing away at my body and my psyche
A little voice in my head
Telling me that I need to ‘get on with it’.
Problem is, I don’t really know what ‘it’ is
And so I suppose this age gap
Reminds me to examine the trajectory my life is taking
By looking at back at how I got here
What I was doing then.
It’s more than a little neurotic, no doubt about it.
Maybe when I’m 80,
I’ll be looking back on those spry 60 year olds in much the same way
Or maybe I’ll be dead
‘Age’, is almost a synonym for ‘youth’
And just prone to the same amount of relativity
Someone once proclaimed that ‘you are as old as you feel’
That person was probably not a decade older than 70
(…though I may be wrong).
What is age but a reminder?
Whether you look forward or backwards
In this way everybody; older or younger, could be seen as a memento mori
A memento of life;
What you had
What’s left of it
No matter how much is left of it.
We should cherish the elderly
(…sometimes barely breathing at that )
Remember your youth
No matter how old you are
Cover image credit: KasunChamara
Choose to undertake things that you will enjoy failing at.
And try to enjoy failing at the things that you have no choice in undertaking.
Image Credit: sasint
Want nothing from anyone.
…or at least
Want nothing further from anyone
Than for them to be well and happy.
You are not spending your time you are sharing it.
Photo Credit: eyeImage
Whatever you are currently experiencing
(…no matter how good, or how bad)
May be the basis of a future epiphany.
(…or it may not).
Put another way, everything is valuable because when you later reflect upon it, it could change your life.
You only get to find out later.
As in everything; your future is unknowable.
And this too will pass.
(…if we discount the idea of talent)
Patience is how you develop skill
…you improve by ‘sticking at’ something.
So, to better acquire skill, practice patience.
Thus: patience is a ‘metaskill’.
Photo by Instant Vantage
You would do less evil to others
If you could really feel what that evil would do to them