Reflections on getting older

In our youth, we have these vivid and wonderful dreams that fuel our lives. They burn as a torch dipped in oil, hot and bright. We can do anything. We can become anything. These are halcyon days. Our parents may shield us from the harsher blows of life, or sometimes they are the ones that cause those blows to fall upon our backs. Nevertheless, our youthful vigour prevails. Our dreams remain alive and protected.


…and time wears on


Eventually, some of those dreams and aspirations begin to wane and fade. Some fall by the wayside. Others we simply give up on. A thin film of reality falls over our eyes. Life is calling and we must answer. We funnel our drive to succeed and our passions into whatever career we find ourselves in. Some of us planned for it and are well prepared. We parley that science degree and it guides our career right where we wanted to go. We use that talent for accounting and build an amazing profession from it. Many others of us discover what we’re good at only after the fact but are still able to build a good life. Then others jump from job to job, never settling down.


…and time wears on


We begin to think about family. Love is not what it was in our youth. Back then it burned with the same ferocious intensity as our dreams. Now love’s hue is strong and purposeful. Some of us try and fail; some never try; others try again and fail again. Often, these failures diminish us. They steal our joy. Hurt our foundation, but we don’t give up. Some of us manage to find that one person whose goals are so aligned with ours that it seems we were made for each other. A life partner. A soul mate. We have children and they represent the best versions of who we are. We finally understand the struggles of our parents. We try to shield our children from the harsher blows of life…and often we are the cause of those blows.


…and time wears on


As we get older, we see the signals all around us. We hear of the deaths of our contemporaries and those we admire. We listen in shock when we hear of the sudden death of someone we closely admired or knew. “Oh, she was so young and had so much more to give” we mourn. We realise that as time wore on so did life. We remember the long lost dreams of our youth. Can we still make them come through? Should we even try? Some of us hold our grandchildren in our arms. We see the future in their eyes and our own eyes mist with tears.


…and time wears on


But this is not the time to die my friends. This is the time to live. To truly live your life as you never have before. Sure there are aches and pains in places you never knew existed. But you have more to give now than ever before and the people in your world need your wisdom as never before. Time will hold the hand of life and will move forward no matter what. Just as in our youth, we should give ourselves the freedom to dream and then make those dreams come true. It’s not about the destination. It never has been and it never will be. It’s about the journey. It’s about the relationships you build along the way. It’s about the lives you touch and impact.


That is how you live forever.