“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
— Harvey MacKay
I’ve never been one to dwell on age. A favorite saying of mine is “you are as old as you are.”
I’ve never found it necessary to lie about my age when a birthday rolls around. I say my year with pride.
Recently, however, I have found myself thinking a little more about time and I guess that’s natural when you are now less than a year from being 40.
A favorite past time for my better half Pam and I includes watching television shows of yesterday. My favorites tend to be from the 1980s while hers can be from any time period (currently we are engaged in the 1950s and 60s smash Perry Mason.)
When we talk about something that happened in 1987, it doesn’t seem that long ago. It doesn’t seem that long until you stop and think it would actually be almost a quarter of a century ago. Some of my co-workers had just arrived on the scene in that year. Some were not even born. The jackhammer of Father Time letting me know that I am no longer young I guess.
Pam and I loaded up with our friends the Browns recently for a trek to Jekyll Island. Growing up, Jekyll was always a destination I looked forward to. As a kid, time certainly has no meaning. You counted down the months to your birthday and Christmas and vacation, but that was about it.
Gradually as I got older, the family treks to Jekyll Island ended. However, once we arrived I was surprised to see how many things I remembered. I even recalled the hotel that we stayed at year after year. To be honest, in this day of renovations and complete do-overs, I wondered if it had long since met its demise.
Yet, there it was and we actually drove past it a few times. It’s funny the things the mind remembers. A simple hotel with a swimming pool, located within walking distance of the beach. Trips with the family on what was a yearly basis at one time are still recalled. Making friends with others on vacation was common. I don’t remember their names but I do remember their faces and still have flashes of having fun — like only young people can — as the ocean waves washed over us.
Life means change, however. The carefree days of youth have gone replaced with work and commitments. We still try to have fun and that’s what the recent trip to the beach was about although there was a small work element tied in as well.
More than 20 years have now passed since I was in high school. It doesn’t seem possible. Those friends, many of whom I am still in touch with I’m thankful to say, have their own adult responsibilities. I often wonder how much they think about those days of yesteryear.
While I actually don’t dwell on age or time, a rather frightening thought fell on me recently. As I thought about the two decades that has passed since I graduated high school, I envisioned another 20 years and suddenly realized at that point I would be 60. For the first time, I became scared. I don’t know really why. Certainly 60 is the not the end of the road.
Yet, time and the passing of it can play tricks on your mind. Enjoy every moment and certainly let those close to you know what they mean. It may seem silly now but you’ll be glad you did down the road.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.