A Note on Getting Older & Wasted Time

Today is one of those days where I look at the books that I have on my shelves, and the pdf files on my computer's desktop, the ones I’ve read, and the ones that I have not read, and I feel a sort of weight—the weight of all of the things that I don’t know or understand. The weight of all the knowledge I haven’t come into contact with yet.

I also feel a particular awareness of time. What makes it particular? A few things. First, I think about all of the time they had before becoming a parent. I think about all of the time that I spent as a young person feeling bored and listless. Looking back at that time now (as a very busy parent), I feel like I wasted a lot of time…

Huh. Interesting.

After I wrote the sentence at the end of the last paragraph, I paused. In the process, I thought,” Yes. That’s right. I do think the time was wasted. But I also don’t think that. I think two things. Opposites. But they are both true.”

I’m thinking this stuff now, at the age of 44, having lived through all the things I’ve lived through. This version of me can appreciate knowledge and experiences in a way that the younger version of me could not. So maybe the younger version of me, the version that was wasting time, was just part of turning into the person I am now, the person who can look at all these books and desire to experience a desire for knowledge. Maybe wasting time was getting ready.

Is it kind of a bummer that it took as long as it did to get ready? Yeah, sure. Be that as it may, it’s important not to overreact or get too wrapped up in pity for lost time.

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