[EDITORIAL NOTE: I'm off to Maine this week to check out possible new homes and some excellent bloggers have agreed to fill in for me. Today, Tamar Jacobson of Tamarika writes of “Shining With Energy.” Please welcome her to Time Goes By and visit her blog too.]
This morning I awoke suddenly out of a dream. My first boyfriend from when I was seventeen had called me up on the phone. Well, at least I thought it was him especially from the crazy-making conversation that ensued and his not ever telling me who he was.
That was typical of his style as we dated for two years when I was completing high school. In the dream I was quite excited to hear from him. After all, we have not had any type of contact for the past 39 years. I was curious about his life and asked him if he was married and had any children. Of course, he would not say.
I lay awake thinking about the dream. It was so vivid. His voice was so clear. There was an atmosphere of tension and excitement throughout the dream that was almost exactly as it had been 40 years ago when we dated. At the end of the dream he still would not reveal who he really was. However, his brother came on the line and left me his e-mail address: “gpt something @ author.edt.” As I lay there thinking about the dream and what it could mean, I smiled at the email address with the reference to author and editor as part of it.
Ah, memories. Are they becoming more vivid than ever the older I become? It is like catching a puff of smoke as it wafts by in the wind. Vivid snapshots of past times with all the feelings, smells, sounds, even ambiance, intact.
As I enter into the realm of almost sixty (after all I will be 57 this year), I sometimes find myself looking wistfully back to those good old days. Shooting pangs of regret stab in the gut as I wonder if I could have done it better. I mean, rationally, I know that I did the best with what I had and who I was then. So why suddenly the regret?
On Friday night as we were walking to the car from dinner, I seemed to notice all the young people passing us by. Slender and shining with energy, they seemed so fresh and open ready for everything life has to offer. The stabbing pang was right there. “Had I wasted those years when I was slender and shining with energy?” I thought suddenly out of nowhere. Tears filled my eyes and I said wistfully out loud, “Oh how I wasted my youth. I could have done it so much better.”
T. hugged me close and said softly, reminding me, “We all think like that now and then, Tam. It’s what happens as we get older.” A passing pang, fleeting moment and on with the present living the now. I’ve had my chance.
We had fun this weekend. T. took a number of photographs of me for my blog. We laughed so much because I hated every one of them. Shouting and yelling out, “Oh I look old, old, old!” Finally I chose one that I liked and stared at it for the longest time. It was almost as if I was getting to know me for the first time over and over again. The face was familiar. The gray hair too. I searched deeply into my picture. Where had the young me gone? I could sense her even as I searched the photograph. I could feel her deep within me. Throbbing, vital, shining with energy, fresh and open ready for everything that life has to offer. “She’s still here,” I thought. “Accompanying me on this new adventure into aging.”
Ah, memories. Reminders of days gone by when, honestly, I could not have done it any other way.