On Friday the 13th, I was doing some shopping and got tired walking partway around the mall, (something that seems to happen a lot more often now). The mall, or even the smallest portion of it, zaps more of my energy than the mile and a half I walk my dog every day. I sat down on the edge of a planter containing rubber plants, the only vacant place in the mall that was buzzing with teenage energy and shrieking voices. I sat for a good while, reflecting that I was falling apart at the seams, and thinking, well hell, I must be way past any sort of prime, What a dammed shame! I’m such a mess these days. But then, I’m just shy of the age that means I’ve lived 70% of a possible 100 years on this earth.
If you think about it, that’s areally a lot of years. And I was thinking about it. What I started thinking was that I wished that when I went home that day, my kids were young again, and were waiting for me to cook dinner. I could hear the boys ask, “What’s for dinner, and whatever I told them responding, “Ok. Good,” and the girls responding. “We don’t want that. We want something else.” It was a comforting thought because I knew what I was supposed to do and where I was supposed to be.
But that wasn’t going to happen since they’re all in their mid-thirties with families of their own. I can’t go back to the “prime of my life,” as they say. I read that the definition of “prime of your life,” is the most active, thriving, or satisfying stage or period; that part of your existence which you consider your best, and which you’d like to be right here, right now, every day, even during the times when you’re catching hell.
So, when was that prime time in my life exactly? High school? College? After college when I was responsible for nobody but myself? When I started a career? When the kids were young? When the kids were older and didn’t need as much “hands-on care?” When the kids were teenagers? When they all went away to college and when they moved out? When exactly did I live my best life? How far in the past? Did I even notice? Maybe my best life in is my future? How far away? Because like I said, I’m on the downside now.
But then I start thinking about those other moments that I thought were prime moments at the time they were happening. There are so many possible prime moments going back all these years of my life. And when I look through Facebook and talk to people I know, I see for many people, it’s as though all of the good things happened when they were young. They only talk about how it was in high school or they relive wartime experiences and nothing else. It seems that those days were the best in their lives, and still are. They’re defined by the time when they were the youngest, and the prettiest or the most handsome. Even though they are living in the here and now, there’s no purpose left so it’s almost as if they are waiting to die.
I know for myself, that if I think that all the prime moments have passed, and I still define myself by the things I used to have; an unlined face, a slim figure, tons of energy, I can get really upset because those things disappeared somehow when I wasn’t paying attention.
Or maybe I should make up my mind that the prime moments are really in the life I’m living right now and that this is this my best life. The one right now is a lot less exciting for sure, and a whole lot less glamorous. The only thing I can say is my best life better be the one I’m living right here, and right now because I have no idea what will happen tomorrow or even if I’ll be alive to see it. Nobody is promising me a someday. All I have is today. And the thing is, I have the ability to make myself over and over again in this life as long as I have a purpose and my friends, and I can find joy in what I do. You can say I’m in my prime.