“..live my days instead of counting my years..”

Carpe diem by any other name smells as sweet*, and yet those lyrics from Dusty Springfield’s song ‘Going Back’ literally made me shiver.

Of course we have to live in the now. The ‘now’ is all we truly have. Our talk of the past and the future is just the naked ape trying to make sense of the world. The past only exists in our memories, and the future belongs to our imagination. So three cheers for the Now. But the Now can be wasted, trivialized, spent on small pleasures while the big ones gather dust.

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of time, but never more so than now, now that I’m getting older with so much still to do. I don’t know how many productive years I have left, but knowing they are finite is like a hand on my back, pushing me forwards, making me strive, making me want to create something of lasting value.

I know I’m not alone. Every Baby Boomer who sets out to do something – no matter what that may be – is feeling the same way, which is why I think that counting our years is the one, positive thing about ageing.

So no, Dusty, I don’t want to go back; I just wish I’d started sooner. Youth really is wasted on the young.**

My thanks to David Prosser for sharing this great video clip and kick starting my bout of philosophy! [In other words, this is all his fault. :D]

Happy Sunday from Downunder,

Meeks

*A deliberate misquote from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;

**There is some debate as to who first came up with the quote about youth being wasted on the young. Some sources cite George Bernard Shaw while others believe it was actually Oscar Wilde. I don’t really care; it’s just a great quote.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

12 responses to ““..live my days instead of counting my years..”

  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    I’ve been taking baby steps toward becoming a more mindful person and will be taking the meditation plunge soon. It’s so true we often spent too much time thinking about the past or the future when we would be better off focusing on the now. I’ve made good choices and bad choices, and they can’t be changed. What I can do is continually move forward.

    Like

  • Honie Briggs

    “The ‘now’ is all we truly have. Our talk of the past and the future is just the naked ape trying to make sense of the world.”
    Exceptional! I love these bouts of philosophy. Having recently studied the “naked ape,” I too, like who I am now – still learning, still evolving, still trying to make sense of the world.

    Like

  • EllaDee

    One of my favourite songs is Rewind by Stereophonics
    “It’s your time
    It’s your day
    It’s never too late
    To change lanes
    How’s your life?
    How’s your place?
    Was it where you wanted
    Your head to lay?

    …Dream and be
    What you feel
    Don’t you compromise
    What you wanna be…

    …’Cause change is okay
    What’s the point in staying the same
    Regrets, forget what’s dead and gone…

    …If you could rewind your time
    Would you change your life?
    Today?”

    I was just listening to it on Saturday, and my answer was and is no.

    And I just commented along similar lines elsewhere “lines of thought tacking around my birthday at the end of the year, our planned move from the city, and a few other family things… how quickly time passes, how much do we stay the same while changing incrementally but persistently. I look back at some of the people I have been over the course of my life. My younger selves are those with whom I’m most familiar. But there are others I hardly know now, but recognise them as me in that role and guise. Maybe it’s like some lessons at school are part of a curriculum of development but not particularly meaningful.”

    But it’s not only about how we assess what impacts & legacies we make, it’s what others’ take from it. Our perspectives are unlikely to be the same. Moments and gestures long forgotten can mean the world to someone else.

    All we can do is move on to more deliberate, meaningful lessons for whatever time we have.

    Like

    • acflory

      I’m not familiar with that song but I think my answer would have to be no as well. I wish I’d been stronger younger, but my emotional commitments would have been the same. Bottom line, I like who I am now. 🙂

      Like

  • Candy Korman

    My soon to be 88-year-old mom and I often talk about what you do with “the time that is left” and the uncertainty of the future. It often comes down to starting “NOW” and going fro wherever you are at that point. Yes, I could have made a boat load of better decisions in my past. Since I can’t change them, I just have to be wiser as well as olde when I’m making them now.

    On another note, isn’t it great when an old song resonates so perfectly with where you are now? A few years ago when I read that Richie Havens had died, I immediately went online and ordered a CD of “Mixed Bag.” I’d remembered listening to that album with my best friend when we were very young children. As soon as I listened to that CD, I called her to tell her we were amazing kids with fabulous taste —every cut held up and some were so much better, and more beautiful, then they were when we were kids.

    Like

    • acflory

      My Mum used to say she wanted to be twenty again but with the brain she had now. 🙂 Oddly enough I’ve just realised that that must have been part of what made me create Innerscape in the first place – wish fulfilment!

      On a serious note though, I agree that we all have to move on from wherever we are /now/. But I think being away of how precious each day is should help us live it more fully. Thank god there’s no useby date on writers, neh?

      Like

  • davidprosser

    For once I’m happy to take the blame as it means the song gets a better spread than just on my blog. I’m also very fond of the Elkie Brooks version of this song which really has fantastic lyrics for you to wax lyrical about.
    xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

    Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    “But the Now can be wasted, trivialized, spent on small pleasures while the big ones gather dust.”—I like this line. We’re always told we should live in the now, and I think for the most part we should, even though it’s often hard to do. But for people who spend a lot of time living in the future, that might not be so bad either, particularly if they’re accomplishing something worthwhile.

    Like

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