I think as I get older I realise that time flies by much faster than it used to. Quite suddenly we are about to plunge into November, with all the trappings of Halloween to get through, then there will be Guy Fawkes night and fireworks and after that it will be headlong into Christmas with all the fuss and hysteria that entails nowadays. Where has the year gone?
Time is a strange thing. I have just celebrated two grandsons reaching the age of 18. Their lives stretch out ahead of them and they have no panic about time or visions of it running out. As the song says, “We have all the time in the world” – except at my age, we don’t. I am well aware that the sands are shifting quickly through the hour glass. I have none of the complacency of the young, but I don’t think I am panicking either. I take each day as it comes and try not to load myself up with too many events, so that I can savour each happening and not worry about what comes next.
These 18th and 21st birthdays have had me looking back at mine. I have been trying to remember how I was at that age.
I do remember having little confidence in how my life would go – not surprising really as I had chosen to enter the precarious theatrical profession. .Although I was not convinced of any talent I might I have, I do recall having great ambitions for my thespian life, along with burning jealousies of those contemporaries quick to succeed.
Friendships and relationships were also difficult in those early years. Great friendships would arrive and then all too soon burn out. Close relationships – and sex – seemed an impossible tightrope along which I was expected to walk and there was no guide as to how to manage it and consequently I was always in danger of falling off.
It is true time is the great healer. Gone now are the jealousies, bitterness and anger at the failures of those early and middle years. There is a calmness and an acceptance of life that comes with growing old. Now the greatest challenge is how to deal with the aches and pains that descend with regularity! I love that piece from the Bible that is so often read at funerals, telling us that there is a ‘time for everything’ that happens to us. So true. And for further reference there is always Shakespeare and his ‘seven ages of man’ speech from “As You Like It” – although hopefully I have not yet reached the last stage, “Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans everything.”
So I wish happy birthday to those 18 and 21 year olds. They have all the time in the world. May they use it wisely.