At 21, I remember thinking, “Now, I’m free from the worry of getting into trouble for having a glass of champagne at a wedding.” I felt victorious for skirting any potential recriminations for drinking when it wasn’t legal to do so, although back in those days, the consequences for underage drinking didn’t feel nearly as dire as they appear to be today. My parents sometimes served us wine during festive, special occasions. Though doing so was technically legal, it always felt suspect.
A decade later, far different issues were on my mind. By then, I was married, had changed careers three times, and was a young mother. A decade later, even other challenges presented themselves. And so it goes. Today, my “new” passages include the challenges of dealing with elderly parents…. Frankly, it is all so predictable as
to be almost comical. How it feels, on the other hand, can be surreal.Every “decade” presents its own special challenges which, give or take a few years, are predictable. Some things are hard to take, others, delightful. Yet isn’t it ironic, in spite of the fact that literature and sages saga these almost invitable passsages, we observe the show with glassed-in detachment?
When in our 20ies, the issues of being in your 30ies seem so remote as to be unthinkable. And so it goes. We have an extraordinary sense of denial about inevitable shifts of focus and interest in life that come with the journey. In part, I think it is because the inevitable devils are in the details that present themselves. Certainly, no one wants to imagine anything negative happening. No one wants to imagine the challenges. Yet, I wonder, were we schooled in actually imagining our own individual futures, our careers, and relationships, would it change the course of our lives for the better, be worse, or matter not one bit?
Each decade presents its own, unique insights and understandings that were only intellectual the decade before when the visceral emotional impact of the actual experiences seemed so far removed.
I guess my thoughts late this Sunday evening are really more about stepping into a level of wisdom I wish we could reach that currently eludes us as a civilization. I wonder, for all our ever-evolving physical beauty as a society, for all our expanding intellectual capacity, will Wisdom itself ever make one of those giant leaps forward and shift our DNA to a higher state of understanding and awareness? I wonder.