Days like today…
Days like today, I realize that I’m getting old. Yes, I realize the age at which I currently find myself isn’t all that old (I’m still on the uphill side of middle aged), but I’m finding myself getting nostalgic over things that are 10+ years in the past or thinking about those things I really want to accomplish and haven’t yet.
At work, I generally listen to music from my iPod during the afternoons (mornings are generally spent listening to Boortz). Just now, “Cuts You Up,” by Peter Murphy came up, which brought back a flood of memories of any number of Thursday nights spent at a specific (now defunct) club in Atlanta, the circle of friends from back then, and the like. In a lot of ways I miss it, but I do realize I’m not the same person I was then.
There are parts of those days that I would like to recapture. That was when I was still convinced there was so much to explore and I had a firm sense of my self-worth. As the years have gone by, however, I have started to wonder and to consider what I actually will accomplish. Adding a family to the mix of things has narrowed that field of possibilities. Not to say I regret the addition of a family, but it’s simply an acknowledgment of the narrowing of the field of possibilities.
There are things I do still want to accomplish, however. I have two or three ideas for different fiction ideas floating around in my head. One of these has gone through various fits and starts over the years that resulted in a few of completed short stories (a couple of which even saw publication), one that is the spawn of an RPG campaign, and another that is a more recent idea that’s seen a couple of vignettes shown to friends. None of them have seen me actually make any meaningful expansion on them in order to complete them. This is more and more resonating as something unacceptable to me.
I have certain things right now that, in the long run, leave no meaningful mark on the world. My attention for them has started to wane, and I think I’m going to let it continue to do so in an effort to focus on things that matter. Everyone wants to leave their mark on the world and, in the long run, what sort of character you had on an MMO isn’t going to matter ten years from now.
Winter is a time of rest and reflection as things wait for the growth of Spring. I think the thoughts for today are part of that reflection for me. The trick now is finding the spring to force these things into the open and to fruition. Obviously, unlike the natural world, these aren’t things that will sprout and grow in a season or two. It will take some time (especially one of the long term plans), but it won’t ever happen at all if the seeds are simply tossed into a fallow field with a vague hope they’ll grow.
The general gist of this long ramble? I need to get off my duff and do certain things while I’m still young enough to do them. I have no one to blame but myself if I don’t do so, and no amount of jealous pangs comparing what I have to other people is going to make a lick of difference in the final count. Someone else’s success is not an excuse for my own inability to find the same measure of success.