For whatever, reason Bob Dylan has popped into my head: “How many roads must a man walk down, before you can call him a man…
How many indeed.
Life is an endless maze of mysteries, each of which leads us from one new thing to the next, though we can never be quite certain just how we will progress. Of course we have our routines and schedules, the things we know well and the little details that bring us our simple pleasures, but what about the elements of life that we can never be sure of?
What it is that drives one to change? While the only constant is change, I wonder how we inspire change within ourselves in relation to any given time or space. What is it that compels us to wake up one day and say, “This is the day I am going to try something new?”
But why change? What is it we are seeking? Are we looking to escape? Are we searching for something? Is there a difference?
Perhaps change comes when one stops and realizes how short life is and how quickly it passes us by.
While we are
young it seems like the possibilities are endless – and in a real way, they are – but then something happens and we find ourselves locked into a routine without being aware of how we got there. It is at this point that we reflect upon who we are and who we wanted to be.
It is here that we feel trapped, confined by the box that we have allowed society to create for ourselves. We make plans to change tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes and we go on hoping that we will wake up and have all those hard changes magically made for us.
But time ticks on and we begin to see ourselves and those around us aging; we see our friends and loved ones passing on. We see our families transitioning and realize that the opportunities that seemed so infinite just a few years before, have become significantly less.
Our bodies begin to stiffen and we become more aware of the health that we not so long ago took for granted. Still, we look at ourselves in the mirror, seeing the fine wrinkles around our eyes, and convince ourselves that tomorrow will be the
day when we relinquish the excuses that hold us firm to our routines. Tomorrow will be the day we change.
But we wake up tomorrow and realize that we have a full day planned… change will have to wait.
The next time we look in the mirror we notice the flecks of gray in our hair and the once fine laugh lines have become deeper. We laugh and think, “at least I haven’t shit myself yet”.
As the years march on and the garage fills up with memories and relics of yesteryears, we decide it is time to get away. Taking a long needed vacation, we vow that it is time to make these trips part of our routine.
Five years have crept away. More friends have passed on. Older relatives have forgotten who we are. Our bodies ache in those first moments when we wake up, but we quickly shake it off. It has been five years since our last vacation.
Our grandparents are both gone now and we realize that there will be a time when our parents will not be around forever. Maybe it is time to change, but
for now I have to get to work. This weekend I will have a garage sale; it’s better than nothing.
The garage sale was a success, though we quickly fill the space again. We are having trouble lifting those countless boxes that only yesterday seemed so easy to move. Maybe it’s time for another trip, though this time I’m not sure I can throw a backpack on and hop on a local bus in some undeveloped country; perhaps a beachside resort is more up our alley.
Both of our parents have passed on now; we never imagined them not being around. We see how time sneaks away from us when we are busy making plans for another day. What have we been doing anyway? It seems all we do is work and all we have to show for it is a basement full of boxes and a garage full of rusting tools. Well, we did take a couple of trips; that was nice.
Looking in the mirror we realize that the brown and blond in our hair is gone, though we suppose the gray looks dignified. We need to get that kid down the road to cut
the lawn; we just can’t start that bloody mower anymore. That’s okay; it gives us more time to organize the spare room.
Another few years have passed and we tell stories with the few friends who are left. We talk about when we were a child and all the things we dreamed of being. We stop and sigh realizing that so many of the things we wanted to be and do are no longer possible. As the night progresses we pull ourselves from the chair and tread carefully down the hallway to bed.
As we lie down we wonder what it was that stopped us from doing more of those things that we always hoped to do. We vow that tomorrow – despite our age, for we are only as old as we feel – we will get out and try something new.
We no longer have to worry about the boxes in the basement and the garage full of stuff, and someone else can now worry about cutting the grass and that trip to Florida will have to be put off.
Tomorrow never comes… yesterday was our last.
Why did we wait so long to make the changes in our life that we knew would make us happy? Why did we put off those things that we dreamed of for so long?
As time marches forward and slowly we are forgotten, we understand that…
...the answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind.”
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