“We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory.” ~ Georges Duhamel.
Recently, I’ve been having a running “battle” with my seven-year-old son, Ewan, around the topic of age.
You see, this year, I will turn 49, and to Ewan, that’s really old. Like, really old.
So old, in fact, he couldn’t wrap his still-innocent head around why it’d be wrong for a 47-year old man to be with a 15-year old girl – the age he used to think his mom was when he was five.
But I digress…
Thinking about these conversations made me think of all those random memories we acquire as get older.
Life and The Way We Craft It
It’s funny how we start to accept the journey of getting older as we actually take it.
When I was 17, the last thing I could ever envision was what I’d be doing 30 years from then. Instead, all I cared about was being old enough to go to a bar, and find girls once there.
Age – whether that be middle age, where I am now, or old age, where I’m hopefully headed – was a far-off mystery, yet to be discovered.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that I didn’t appreciate the fact I would be getting older anywhere near as much as I should have.
I didn’t realize that the best part of my life would be the random parts I looked back on as they came to me in the most random of moments.
Laying in a hot bath, and suddenly thinking about the time I crashed a milk float into a fence by driving backward, without looking where I was going.
Watching the world go by from the train I commute to work on, and thinking about the time when I dropped a stink bomb in a busy nightclub, just to clear the bar area.
Reading a book with my children, and thinking back to when I had no children and the lack of completion I now know I had without that storytelling end to the day.
Or simply thinking about conversations with my son, and how that inspired the post you’re reading now.
Open Up to Randomness
We lead such busy lives. We commute for hours each day so we can pay the bills and keep a roof over our family’s heads.
We send an email to a client, a vendor, a colleague, instead of sending a text to our children, or our special other half, just to let them know we love them.
We keep so much stuff in our heads in order to function – or, at least, give us the sense of functionality – that we don’t leave enough room for the important stuff.
Those random memories that remind us of who we once were, and who we can still be if we’d simply open the door to that moment when it arrives.
We spend our days being so serious. Right or wrong, that’s our main occupation these days, just so we can “function”.
I’m tired of functionality.
I aim to be more random. Randomness makes me laugh.
If that means I get a funny look on the train because I’m laughing aloud at a silent memory, so be it.
It’s a small price to pay to remain human.