I was just reading a book review, and the reviewer said the book (Heather Havrilesky’s How To Be A Person In the World) was corny and sentimental, but it still worked. One of the things she quoted from the book:
“The world has told you lies about how small you are. You will look back on this time and say, ‘I had it all, but I didn’t even know it. I was at the center, I could breathe in happiness, I could swim to the moon. I had everything I needed.'”
It’s similar to that famous graduation speech that was going around years ago, about how you won’t know until later how perfect you are right now. I looked at a picture of myself in my 20’s a few years ago and I was floored (I probably posted about it). I remember what I *thought* I looked like at the time, and I realized I was so totally, totally, totally wrong. I realized I had had it all. I could have ruled, but instead I let some people walk all over me. (I’m just talking about romance in this example, and looks, but I let others walk all over me in other arenas. I had it all in other ways I didn’t realize at the time either. I don’t believe Havrilesky was talking about looks, and her quote applies to everyone. You know, screw “looks” anyway. That’s an insight I just realized I’ve gained at 60. I’m not saying I don’t care. I’m saying it’s insane that I do to the extent that I do.)
Anyway, what I realized looking back then, and what I realized reading the quote above now, is that even though I may not have quite the “all” I once had, I will look back at today and realize how wrong I was about how I look now, and everything else. I am still at the center, I can still breathe in happiness and I can still swim to the moon. (I loved how she put it. Yes, corny and sentimental but it really worked for me.)
I hurt my knee the other night, and I was thinking it’s all downhill from here. And yes, it’s a sucky injury, but if I’m still around in 20 years I will look back at today and think how vigorous and young I still was, regardless. So I really should try to enjoy it now. My 20 year old self didn’t have this awareness, but I do now. I should take advantage of it! I can still swim to the moon.
My cats with extended paws. I call it: I Want to Hold Your Hand.