Have you asked yourself, “What is the point?” I’ve repeated this inquiry in my mind several times over the course of the last two weeks. It is a fair question in my mind. The older I become, time sprints ahead, while I sometimes treat it with the carelessness of a twenty-year-old. I am not young, nor old, but the heightened awareness of this fact causes irritation. The markers of time passing are so clear: my joints ache in the morning, in a few short months my daughter will be taller than me and I sense the sadness of pulling farther away from the last time I had a conversation with my father. These emotions carry a palpable texture. I not only know time is moving, but sense and feel it in my daily life. Time is a visible character, a friend and foe, and offers comfort and sadness.
The question I’ve asked more and more is: How do we know we are making the most of our time? I realize the pedantic and cliché nature of this question, but it does make life’s interactions and intersections absorb a greater gravity. From a young age, I’ve always asked, “What happens when this moment is over?” I’ve outlined my struggle to sink into the present and this question always interferes with my internal rhythm. But it also pushes me to consider the decisions I make and the consequences of those choices.
I suspect so many of us face these questions, especially when we think our efforts, pursuits and interactions seem less than what we hoped. The scattered approach of rolling the dice and accepting outcomes doesn’t tick like an acceptable way to live a fulfilled life. Disappointments tend to carry more weight; only because there is a built-in expectation that because your are older, you are wiser. I’ve said this before. The older I become, the less I know. I’ve spent most of my life engaging in guesswork, trying different formulas for contentment, stumbling my way to gratitude even when I can’t see it.
This weekend I strolled through Georgia, witnessing the leaves display an array of colors. As I walked, I sensed the transition between summer and fall and attributed my questions to this physical change in my environment. I wrote this passage in early 2014 and not much has changed in tackling transitions –
My own life is filled with these same transitions. Sometimes they appear as small ripples, other times they feel more like a seismic shift. I always dread the in-between, the uncertainty exists in the space between these changes. I dislike the unsettled feeling, the pinch in the gut signaling change. Every time I fear my own personal axis spinning, I tend to retreat to a place of panic and am unable to gain my composure. Perhaps I am lacking that omniscient narrator in my life. Although I’ve sought it in meditation, spirituality and writing, I still struggle to retreat to a steady state when the feeling of uncertainty starts to creep into my veins.
I need to find the narration which keeps me grounded through my own personal seasons. What’s the point? I am still searching. Looking up, down and around in my life and paying attention to what is, instead of yearning for what isn’t within my grasp.