March 22, 2008

“When you reach a certain age…”

Posted in Musings tagged , at 10:59 pm by myrlinn

Credit for the title goes to Norman, who may just possibly be the only person in this world who can make those words into an art form ;).

Of course, as I’ve discovered, you do need to reach a certain time, a certain age, before you can feel the truth of those six words. For me, it sort of crept up slowly, when my colleagues and friends start to be adults half your age, people who have not lived through a large part of what I lived through.People who’ve never heard of Leif Garrett!

It’s a good thing though, to “reach a certain age”. To me, it’s been liberating. To have lived through different times, different ideas, and to have been a child, a teenager, a young adult, and an older adult, well, it gives you a certain perspective, a certain confidence.

Also, “when you reach a certain age”, memories become especially poignant, precious even. Just think about it: you, YOU, lived through a time and a lifestyle that is essentially no more.

The trick, of course, as you ahem ‘gain in years’, is not to fall into the trap of believing that the old ways are the best (change is  not a bad thing), or to start being inflexible. It’d also be a positive thing if you can genuinely appreciate that there’s a certain wisdom in the fearlessness of the younger set.

Writing this blog, it strikes me once again that the universe throws out unexpected patterns and connections. And it’s wonderful”-full.

Just look back at what happened just within the last two days. My friend and ex-colleague whom I haven’t seen for a while, Patsy, suddenly had the idea of having a BBQ at her home last night and thought to invite me. That put me within conversational distance of another friend and ex-colleague, ‘when you reach a certain age’ Norman, which led to me writing this particular blog.

At that same get-together, I ended up sitting at the same table as two women, strangers to me, who are into religion and philosophy, at a time when I’m reading a book which helps you to understand the bible (given to me by a friend who’s a Christian) and a book which is basically a primer on western philosophy titled Sophie’s World (I’m enjoying this book, highly recommended). Even more fascinating, one of these women is a Christian with a viewpoint rather in tune with the historical perspective of Sophie’s World. While the other is a Christian with a more ‘exclusive’ viewpoint that’s more in tune with my other book.

That’s why it’s hard for me to believe that there’s no such thing as coincidence, that everything that happens at random, as argued by the author of Quirkology, a book (it’s on the psychology of everyday behaviour, another book I recommend) I read recently.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t advocate superstition, the drawing of patterns based on the slightest coincidences. I’m especially against superstitions which prey on people’s fears.

But I do think we should try to watch out for life’s patterns. Life becomes certainly richer, more filled with wonder and mystery, and with fascinating questions, if you keep your mind open to the so-called ‘coincidences’ in life. And that’s what being human is about, isn’t it? Why else do we have the capacity to imagine, to dream, to be curious?

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