So as we age ideas evolve. As we change so to does the way we think. This isn’t a great or retaliatory statement to many, myself included, but I still find myself being surprised by how often it catches me off guard to observe this phenomenon in myself and those around me. It isn’t very often that I get to see such a prefect glimpse of the journeys we take through life so those moments of stark contrast are invaluable for the progress they represent.
So I distinctly recall to formulation of a thought from my younger self – It ran as follows – ‘It must be nearly impossible for the middle aged and elderly to hold their heads up, living with the weight of time seems impossibly daunting’. Now this is fairly indicative of the negative head space younger me was in at the time of formulation – but it stuck with me because it had the air of importance about it. It was only later that I found out the Heidegger’s seminal work was basically dedicated to this concept and that’s why it seemed important.
Younger me already had regrets – could foresee the accumulation of even more regrets as the years washed over and engulfed me and that honestly terrified me. The concept that I would have to carry a whole life of experience on my shoulders simultaneously seemed to be a fate far worse than death. It was at this point I had a tattoo inscribed upon these shoulders – It reads ‘Death is lighter than a feather, Duty heavier than a mountain’. I have always loved that quote because it summed up many many disparate thoughts for me. The concept that time weighed one down and was a heavy duty to bear was one such thought.
Today I happily remove a thought from the list of things that the tattoo means to me.
For a little while now time has seemed less daunting, regrets less scary and the weight of the overall endeavor less overwhelming. It struck me fully today that taking control of and responsibility for ones life makes one infinitely more able to deal with the weight of time. It renders time not only weightless but a strengthening and fulfilling force. Taking control and responsibility turns endeavors that would otherwise have ended in regret into valuable lessons for continues existence.
It seems foolish that it has taken me this long to realign my thinking with this more positive outlook on the world – but the liberation is palpable. The ability to see those more challenging moments in my life not as weights to be carried or let to drag me down but ways of increasing my integrity, strength and character is honestly life changing.
Of course this was a slightly slower than instantaneous revelation it is one that has built over the last year or so, the last year of internalizing more positive readings of existentialist material and a trend towards contemporary positivism. So I am not suggesting that by thinking in this manner will solve all the worlds problems overnight. I just wanted to share with you a shining new point of hope on my personal horizon – I hope it can ease your heavy time the way it has mine.