Here’s an unfolding of your life with you filling in the blanks according to the correct age bracket. Following those are some general points to think about.
In your twenties? Most of your life has been devoted to formal education. At last, you’re venturing into the job market, trying to find what best matches your interests and skills. Your social life is maturing. You’re discovering the challenges of becoming an adult
In your thirties? You’ve probably found a partner. Your mission in life is finally taking shape, your passions being realized. Although the learning curve is steep and moving at a dizzying pace, you’re learning much about both yourself and the world around you.
In your forties? You have assumed responsibilities for a family or other lengthy relationship. On the job, you’re accomplishing more than you ever have. Whether for business or pleasure, you’re meeting more people and traveling to more places.
In your fifties? You have a much sharper image of what kind of person you are and what you have already accomplished. With still much more to do, you’re sensing some uneasiness about the future, find yourself weighing every decision more carefully.
In your sixties? Your family has grown up, so now you’re looking forward to either easing off, satisfied with what you’ve accomplished, or continuing to move forward while looking over your shoulder at what you have saved for your future financial security.
In your seventies? Most of life’s heavy lifting is behind you. Taking center stage are decisions on how best to enjoy what remains of your life, stopping to smell the roses you formerly had to pass up. You’re more aware of how fast time is passing.
In your eighties? You are more aware of how much you’ve slowed down. You are thinking more of your past, reviewing everything that’s happened to you. At the same time, you feel the urge, indeed the necessity to stay mentally and physically active.
In your nineties? You are definitely in bonus years. Most of your friends have passed on. You are puzzled at how fast they and life have passed. In some ways, you’re ready, in others, not so much. You have all your personal affairs and legal papers in order.
You made it to one hundred? Congratulations. You’re looking forward to the Big Ride ahead!
Throughout all these years and happenings, you’ve tended to be unaware that the cone of acquaintances, friends, and relatives is becoming larger, sometimes faster, at other times slower. You meet many new people on the job, while traveling, serving in the military, belonging to a church, association, social club, hobby, or special interest group.
Whether you purposely seek them out or they cross your path by chance or accident, most of them slip into your life, stay only briefly, then fade away never to be seen or heard from again. With each, you wonder how and why it happened. At the center of those two ingredients is always the activator, facilitator, or influencer, the person you remember most for one or more special or memorable reasons.
In every encounter, however, a bit of you is left with them and a bit of them is left with you. From those bits, you pick out what continues to sparkle, what you continue to remember, what you now appreciate or regret. All of it adds to what you are and are able to do. It’s a logical and inescapable parade with everyone playing their unique instrument, performing the song of life itself.
By the time your life has moved closer to its natural end, some in that parade have already passed on. Others, however, are still around and you feel and eventually satisfy the urge to reconnect with them.
More often than not, though, even if you’re successful, you discover with a tinge of sadness that both you and they have moved on, that what was once so close, is now so distant that it’s beyond reach. Even if you’re able to make it happen, for one or more of a myriad of reasons, it may not be wanted. For many people, being reminded to remember just once is often more than enough.
That’s when you realize the past can never be reproduced in the present, nor can you even pretend it can be. One way or another, all of it worked its magic which for better or worse, you accepted or rejected. It didn’t happen any other way because it couldn’t.
That’s the reason that life, however you are choosing to live it, is so special.
To you, my earthly brothers and sisters of everywhere, I say, live on and give life everything you have, accept everything it gives you. The band, is indeed, playing on.