Wednesday, 30 January 2013
A Life Well Lived?
Last night I watched a movie about how we adapt to growing old, a transition we all have to make some day. It was called "The Best Exotic Hotel Marigold" and I'd rate it as one of the best, most thought provoking films I've ever watched. It got me thinking about age, about all that comes with it, and about how we make that journey. The face staring back at you today is going to change. The physical beauty will decline. Fight it if you must, but don't live in denial. The things that once came easy get harder, the road behind us longer than the one ahead. We're all heading towards the same vanishing point, and we must decide how we walk the path. As for me, I am 41 years of age, and whilst in generally good nick the grey is persistent, the stomach not as flat, along with other minor things that I notice from time to time. Now I'm as drawn to physical beauty as the next man, but I'm not so fooled that that I can't see beyond to what's really important. Our character, our true nature, the reality of who I am, who you are in the quiet moments away from prying eyes. Have I lived a good life? Have I been as kind as I could have been? As genuine? Am I even equipped to decide for myself? Such things press upon me, for I know at heart that I'm a man of extremes, as prone to goodness as I am to folly. My intentions aren't always pure, my motives mixed, and I've my fair share of skeletons. Don't be fooled by my laid back demeanour, it isn't as consistent as it could be, should be. I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say here, but it has something to do with wanting to grow old with genuineness and with a warm heart, not overshadowed by my failings but rather informed by them. Not embittered but better equipped. And not content in the best of ways, by which I mean always curious, always wanting to look beyond the obvious. I'm never going to be the easiest person to be around. I'm no good at being quiet when I perceive something as wrong, or as ridiculous. Being a friend to me is a bit like being on a tiny boat amidst a bucking, boisterous ocean. The boat could tip this way or that, and by the end you'll know you've been on a journey and you might feel a bit disoriented. But hey, you'll also go home thinking about it, and you'll remember it. I'm just one of those people who tends to leave an impression, be it good or bad. You know where the door is if you cannot live with that. And if you can, well come in, buckle up, and lets enjoy the journey together. That's a legacy that I can live with.