Saturday, October 4, 2008

My Birthday Message

Written October 3, 2008
Well, today is my birthday! I really don't feel any different. The way my back and knees have been aching, I have felt forty for the last few months. I guess there are times in life when you get introspective about where you are in life and how things have gone so far. I feel very blessed. I am where I want to be in life. This introspection also leads me to marvel at how quickly I got to 40. It seems like I am the age the my parents ought to be. A few years ago I was contemplating life and how fast it was already going. It is so true that the older you get, the faster it goes. One of our retired teachers shared this insight with me when I was a student here. Mr. Ronk explained to me the relativity of time. I am sure it all makes sense to you, but it struck me even as a high school student. He explained that every time your life doubles, the passing of time feels the same. In other words, the 4 years from 4 to 8 seem to pass at the same rate as the 8 years from 8 to 16. That is a little scary because it seems like I got to 40 so fast. That means I will get to 80 in what has seemed like a short time to get to 40. It is easy to get caught up thinking about retirement and counting down the years. I have quickly caught myself when those thoughts pop in my head. If I am ready to retire, there are a lot of other realities that will be a part of that time as well. It is possible that one or both or my parents will no longer be living. I know they could go at any time, but with age the probability increases. My kids will be out of the house. They have already gotten older so fast it is hard to remember all of the stages of their development. That is very sad to me. I never want to wish away my present. Every day is important. Please don't wish away your present looking with envy at the perceived benefits of the future. It will get here fast enough! I know! I am 40! Many of you know because you are older than me! :)
I am going to leave you with a poem that has always been one of my favorites from John Milton. It it about the passing of time - 40 and beyond!
On Time
John Milton. 1608–1674
Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets' pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb'd,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum'd,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of Him, t'whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav'nly-guided soul shall climb,
Then all this earthly grossness quit,
Attir'd with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.

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