Yet another year, running neck and neck with my mortality, crosses the finish line and here I am, left scrambling in its’ dust, trying to get back up on the horse so I can enter the next race.
Where in the hell did the time go?
When I contemplate that unforgiving image in the mirror, the one that mocks me every morning, I feel compelled to try and piece it all together. It’s not that I expect to have some kind of an epiphany that will allow me to extend whatever time left has been granted me. I need to figure out a way to eliminate that gnawing habit of weighing what’s gone, against what remains, and feeling as if I could have achieved more. I would like to view my remaining years through the lens of anticipation instead of remorse and apprehension.
I realize the fear of aging is paramount and is the driving force beneath this blanket of discontent. But in talking with others my age, I know that there is nothing abnormal about being emotionally unprepared to let go of my attachment to this life and all that it encompasses. So, I ask myself, what do I need to change in order to obtain my objective?
As a recovering alcoholic who has gained a new perspective through the working of the twelve steps of A.A., I am now reminded of another great tool that shares the initials A.A. In 1984 I adopted Hank William’s song “Attitude Adjustment” as a weapon to correct my kids’ behavior.
But I’ve always found that reconstructing my attitude is damned near impossible when I am in the middle of a dilemma. Especially if that dilemma is of my own making. Scraping the bottom of the barrel to reveal the blemishes that tend to ruin one’s complexion requires a certain amount of detachment and self-honesty. Not an easy job.
Now that I’ve discovered the solution, it’s time to unearth those things that are standing in the way of my serenity: The portions of my life that I repeatedly try to sweep under the rug; perceived failures, broken promises to myself, unrealistic expectations of myself and others, and those episodic forays into self-pity. All linked to my fear that time is running out and how will life go on without me? Oh, and did I mention ego? That is the element that suggests I am the center of the Universe and when I am gone my family’s world will literally spin off its axis. It is also the task-master responsible for my obsession with searching for new skin tags, counting wrinkles, studying my reflection in my make-up mirror for nasal hairs, and wondering if everyone else is putting me under that same microscope.
I suppose I have a big job ahead of me. And I realize that by recognizing the solution before I successfully obliterate the problem is putting the horse before the cart, I am definitely heading in the right direction. Won’t be the first thing I ever did something ass-backward. Rounding the turn now, gaining on the front-runner, Attitude Adjustment.