Sunday, February 2, 2014

Time is stealing my future


I was reading BuzzFeed’s  “10 Lovable Things About Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores,” when I saw a photo that tugged my memory back to my days in Boston.  Boston is a great town. I lived there for a couple of years and commuted there for a decade more. Boston is brimming over with history. For instance, you can find buildings scattered all over that are more than two hundred years old. This was an eye-opener for a native of Southern California where everything over forty years old was torn down buildings, people, traditions, and anything else with poor survival instincts.

Boston also has a fascinating collection of new and used bookstores. They seem to be everywhere. The store in this picture from the BuzzFeed article was my favorite.  Situated across from the Commons, it was not the best used bookstore in Boston, but it was the most fun. I spent untold hours combing through the stacks. It had everything, but you had to find it yourself, making this outdoor book market a treasure hunt. After you found and bought a pearl, you could examine it over coffee at the Dunkin' Donuts a couple doors down. Fond memories.

Then a realization hit me. It has been six years since I’ve visited Boston. Where has all the time gone? Damn it. Time is the culprit. There’s a lot more behind me than ahead.

I once told my grandson that I was a time traveler. Needless to say, he didn't believe me. Then I told him I had traveled from March 4th, 1945 directly to this point in time. He looked perplexed for a moment, and then said, "I get it," and walked away. Darn, what's it take to impress a seven year old?

Now I'm retired, so if I don’t count writing as work, which I don't, my time is my own. That thought made me feel better. My time is my own. I no longer rent my time to someone else who can demand that I do things I may or may not like. Much of my life may be behind me, but I can craft whatever's left to do whatever I want. That is pretty damn good. Maybe getting older is not as much of a bummer as I thought.

I think I’ll sign off now and enjoy the day with people I love.

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