I've often thought that 2013 was one of the longest years of my life. I did a lot, but all I did was work. My 20s went like that too, and sometimes I regret spending those late hours when I had all that youth and energy.
Time is relative, no matter how much some scientists want to tell us that falling out of an airplane takes the same amount of time on a clock as sharpening a pencil. One of the things that I've known acutely through my life is that my life is finite. There's only so much time to do the things I'm here to do. Of course it would help a lot if I actually knew what I'm here to do, but I have an internal fury when someone wastes my time because none of us have a lot of it.
I knew all this when I was a kid, but 50 was a really long ways away, and catching crayfish seemed pretty important right then. It looks different this side of 50. I see old people hobbling into the Shrine where I work and think old age doesn't seem that far away any more. How much longer can I run up steps? Or eat stuff old people can't digest? Or write the world's greatest novel or paint my greatest masterpiece? Or maybe have that love affair that lasts forever?
Some of the things I wanted in my life didn't happen. I wanted the white picket fence and children and the happy husband. Somewhere along the line I noticed that white picket fences need painted, and I sure don't feel like doing that. Kids make unnecessary noise and don't always turn out well. Or the happy husband is sleeping around. What do I really want, what can I achieve, and what is my real life purpose? Somehow, spending the day catching crayfish seems like a most excellent use of my time.
I had a coworker who used to tell me that I was difficult, oh okay, she'd call me a pain in the ass. I'd smile at her and say "and yet, there are people who love me!" She'd sputter and I'd laugh, but sometimes I think being loved is the only thing that matters. Sometimes I think hippies and the Beatles were idiots and I'd better get around to painting that masterpiece because that's the only thing that's going to be here after I'm gone. It's a new year and I have a blank canvas. I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, but maybe this is the year I'll start exercising, eat right, and paint for real?
Looking over my posts for 2013, I do feel a certain sense of accomplishment. I'm amazed with myself that I've been able to keep posting even with all the current job demands. I hung up thumbnails of all my posts since I started blogging, and sometimes I stop and study them. It makes me feel like I have done something, with plenty of room to do more somethings before I go.