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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One Hundred Years

Driving home today, I heard Five for Fighting's "Hundred Years," one of my (many) favorite songs. I put the lyrics at the bottom of this entry. The song emphasizes how quickly life passes: 15 years old, 22, 33, 45, half time when you're finally wise, 67, and 99 when one more moment is all there is. The song keeps coming back to 15 when you still have time, when there's no better wish.

I couldn't help reflecting on the song's message. Life at 15 is full of potentials, but it becomes progressively confined as we (intentionally or not) chart our course through the years. Many things are possible but you can't have them all: Aiming for a grand goal means sacrifices of time, money, and other resources often including the sacrifices that others (e.g. a spouse, parent, child) also make for you. Or you make for them! And once you're on your way or have achieved the goal, it's that much harder to achieve a parallel goal. As we grow older our potentials increasingly become actualities: what is. We lose our physical abilities and our life's time even as we (hopefully) gain in knowledge, experience, wealth, and strong integrated connections to others.

We live in a world of limited resources, of edges and comparisons, where the concept of infinite potential can be understood only in a mathematical equation. Change in life is the only constant. I believe an important component of contentment in life is accepting what is, and assessing what truly might be. Yet, this is so difficult not to want what was, or what could have been if only...

"You pays your money, and you makes your choice." Does what we do now, in this world, matter? I believe so. As a wise friend of mine says, our seemingly inconsequential choices can create enormous ripples for ourselves and others, and not (if you believe this, as I do) only in this life. I've often heard old people comment on how quickly their lives have passed. They don't feel any different, although their bodies are feeble.

The soul doesn't age...

Some spinning thoughts as I listen to a song. Live wisely. Seize the day, my dear friends.


NOTE: I couldn't embed the video, but you can see it HERE

One Hundred Years
by Five for Fighting

I'm 15 for a moment
Caught in between 10 and 20
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

I'm 22 for a moment
She feels better than ever
And we're on fire
Making our way back from Mars

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

I'm 33 for a moment
Still the man, but you see I'm a they
A kid on the way
A family on my mind

I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by
Suddenly you're wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We're moving on...

I'm 99 for a moment
Time for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are

15 there's still time for you
22 I feel her too
33 you're on your way
Every day's a new day...

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to choose
Hey 15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live


Rosslyn Elliott said...

Very interesting! I find that I agree with those who have told me that life gets better as I age. I may have fewer choices, but I also know what's important. That increases my chances of happiness.

Travis said...

I agree with Rosslyn.

And, it does matter what choices we make here on Earth. Every decision we make affects so many others. It's true that no man is an island unto himself.

Sarah Salter said...

I work with children's and youth ministries for my denomination and find myself surrounded by young'ns all of the time. This gives me a unique perspective and experience to draw from...

A couple of years ago, a fifteen year old girl came to me and said, "Miss Sarah, what was the best year of your life so far?" It really made me think. But I came to the conclusion that each year gets better than the one before. Every year also has challenges, but hopefully, also the wisdom and grace and strength to face them.

Gwen Stewart said...

I love that song too, Amy. And I love the quote, "You pays your money, and you makes your choice" too.

I wouldn't for the world want to be 15 again, no matter how broad the potential.

35 is looking pretty good, though...heh.

Great post!