Your life. No prior experience. Each day is an improv. Upon conception, the action sign snaps and the show begins. Amazing you got a role in the first place. A man ejaculates 40 million to 1.2 billion sperm cells per shot. All in timing and connections.
You start breathless at birth and as the exquisite heart closes one chamber to open another…your first inhale of life is taken. The time and date is recorded. Life on Earth has officially begun.
You’re with people you don’t know. You, the newest member of a tribe. You don’t have hopes or expectations. Everything is a first. Your in a body unfamiliar with its senses, except one. The first sense to develop is touch…in utero. It’s no wonder we cry to be held. My theory is touch is the last sense to leave before death. It’s said to be hearing; but, I believe we feel better than we hear. And, Nature is very consistent in her circadian rhythm of full circle.
Without past landmarks, your mind is creating neural maps with every observation, sight, sensation, sound and response in your presence. You don’t recall taking your first step, but memories embed at a cellular level. Repetition got you running. Muscle memory syncs with neurons in the brain and gut.
The brain and body are not separate entities. They are intradependent. Societal expectations divide them. Most don’t question because performance is rated early. I wonder if the next generation will have a slice of time to be a kid without a schedule to keep.
As a child, my primary concern was to watch Saturday cartoons until American Bandstand came on. After that, played outside until lunch. Meandered in about a 2 mile radius of home in the neighborhood. Ate a pbj and chips midday quick and ran back out til sunset. Went to the creek, walked barefoot in the grass, climbed trees and gazed into the blue skies with wonder. Imagined being on the plane flying over. Going somewhere cool. Loved how the engine’s sound entered my ears before the plane came in sight. The brief space before the two senses intersected was hypnotic. Still is.
When the day shifted to evening, brushed off dirt and went home. Watched The Waltons, ate dinner, took a bath, read a story, wrote in diary and went to bed. A lot of experiences happened between those personal bookmarks of unedited happiness. It was the freest I’ve ever felt.
With experiences and age, we change. Freedom is not free. Opinions formulate. Perceptions are narrowed. Expectations expand. And, most of us are trying to figure out what makes us happy…all the time. We hope to find the perfect partner, the perfect friend, the perfect life. It’s tremendous work with no end in sight. We work hoping to retire early so we can live the life of that kid. No schedule. Do what you want, when you want. I never thought I’d say this…ever…but, I hope to feel like I did in the ‘good ole days’. Free to do whatever. Whenever. And without thinking success vs. failure. Too many restrictions in those two words.
I am my worst enemy. Most of us are. The pressure to outperform your last show is self- imposed. The list gets longer and the clock’s ticking faster. Never knew what I wanted to be when I grow up. Now, at 52, want to be a doctor, a yoga therapist, a fundraiser for good causes, an international bestseller author and live in a house on the beach.
Oh, and I don’t want to live by the calendar. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Sunday. The day’s name doesn’t motivate me; the purpose of the day does.
The rush of first time experiences shortens as the heartbeat odometer rolls over a billion beats. (Average heartbeat is 60-90 a minute/100,00 a day/35 million a year/2.5 billion by age 70). Spending time wiser synchronizes with how you spend money. ‘Waste not, want not’ makes sense. Keep the interest.
You wade through mundane routine. Somewhere along the way, life gets in your way. And, you want a vacation from realities entangled with yours. Haven’t met a person yet who doesn’t go through this.
Welcome to the mid life reassessment. Typical age range is 45-55. Women are peri-menopause and men are having a dip of testosterone. Moods are turbulent. Both, if honest, miss the energy of their younger bodies. The thrill is missing, but not the craving. Hormonal tsunamis are unpredictable.
Like going through puberty without rules. It’s a profound time of change and growth. Relationship challenges surface. Some marriages reach an impasse and change roads. Some get quiet and let time walk them to the grave. And, a few reacquaint with the friend they chose. It takes work, patience, compassion and a sense of humor. That’s what family does.
Family is not blood. It’s who you commit your love to. Love gives life to everything. From relationships to dreams. Like the body and mind are intraconnected, so is love and life. Your life is significant to yourself because its your life. It is significant to a close circle and less significant the wider you go. But, how you live it, how you love, what you do with your time can and does touch lives beyond your awareness. You may never be famous. Don’t base your significance on the temporary. There’s always someone right behind anxious to steal your place.
Your insignificance provides unlimited space to fly. As you stretch all the senses, they start to intersect and it makes you pause in wonder…with yourself. Your life. You realize your significance. And, in a way, you start with a clean slate like you did from the beginning. Only this time, you have an idea of how true love, freedom and unedited living feels like. There’s no going back. That’s aging gracefully.
Wisdom births the insignificant into significant. And, all without a script. Now that’s a story.