I guess we all become slightly reflective when our birthday is coming. We all kind of look back and forward trying to measure the time lived already and the time to be lived. Difficult work, thought. Because the later is just unknowable. Unless you look at it with a different perspective. Let me explain myself.
The other day, a lovely friend who loves me very much reminded me that I’m about to be officially a middle age woman. It’s good to have friends, isn’t? And my happy response to that was that it’s impossible to know when you are middle age because you never know how long you would live. Beautiful thought before my birthday. But don’t blame my Spanish pessimism yet. I mean, I would be middle age only if I died at the age of 72. And in that case, I would be middle age only one year of my life. But how do I know that I’m not going to live until 100 years? Or just one more day? As I said, it’s a lovely thought to have just before my birthday.
Don’t worry, I’m not the kind of person who gets depressed on birthdays. In fact, I do enjoy getting older and even think there must be something wrong with me because most of the people don’t like it. Apparently, life is not what they expected. That’s the main idea in the film “Revolutionary road”. I know, I’m not Kate Winslet or Leonardo Di Caprio. But am I living the life I expected to live? Well, no really. In fact, I didn’t expect this life at all! It’s been full of surprises, some nicer than others. Most of the time very exciting. Not what I thought it would be when I was 15 or 20 or 25. No. It’s much better! That’s part of the excitement, part of the adventure.
But I’m getting distracted, this is not what I wanted to write about (sorry, it’s a normal thing at my age, to get distracted) The middle age and measuring time, right. Now you have to forgive me as I get a bit transcendent here. When I look at my parents, both of them in their seventies, they seemed to be satisfied. They are not rich. They haven’t traveled much or studied much. They have lived most of their lives in a 3 bedroom flat in a fourth floor without lift in a town in a small island. They had 7 children, one of which went faster than them through life and died at the age of 28 (she didn’t reach the middle age, people would say). They have 12 grandchildren and love them all. They enjoy their lives, though life won’t bring many more surprises to them. And despite their bodies beginning to give up, they look like if something better is about to happen.
Measuring time? I want to follow the example of my parents. To enjoy all the good things of this life knowing that something much better is to come. Measuring time with the right perspective.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)