When I was 7, I thought that anyone who was over 21 was old. When I was 17, I upped that number to 40, and at 40 I was certain that 60 was really old.
Well, there comes a time in each of our lives – if we’re lucky to live long enough – when numbers become meaningless symbols. Whatever the number, whatever the number is representing, it is something to which I – and I must say most of my peers – cannot relate.
So, Friday, when my husband and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary, the actual number seemed absolutely surreal, though – of course – the years have not been.
As each of you has, I, too, have experienced the different stages in my life (single and married) – recognizing that some were wonderful, others less so, some challenging, others transitional, and the list goes on. But more than anything, if aging is affording me any wisdom, I am learning how to prioritize “as time goes by.”
And as I found myself humming the song with that very title – a song written for the WWII film, “CASABLANCA” – it became clear to me why my friendly unconscious chose that particular song, just as my husband and I were preparing to be feted by a few select friends and family members.
What it brought to mind was a moment in time years ago when I read in our local newspaper that an elderly lady, aged 55, had been assaulted in a nearby shopping mall. My immediate response was one of rage as I imagined some thug targeting an “elderly” person. And though I would like to think that I would have responded similarly no matter what the victim’s age, I did not at first realize that the elderly person was someone the very same age as myself. What that taught me was that I – and I dare say most of my peers – really don’t identify with age in the same way that the generation of our parents or grandparents once did.
The times now are, of course, different. Our world leaders are different men and women, and what is at stake today is different and perhaps even more threatening, but still … some few things remain constant, as stated in the refrain and in a stanza from “AS TIME GOES BY.”
[This day and age we’re living in
Gives cause for apprehension
With speed and new invention
And things like fourth dimension.
Yet we get a trifle weary
With Mr. Einstein’s theory.
So we must get down to earth at times
Relax relieve the tension
And no matter what the progress
Or what may yet be proved
The simple facts of life are such
They cannot be removed.]
The fundamental things apply, as time goes by …
It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die.
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by.”
In that spirit, I dedicate this blog to saner times, fewer world and personal tensions, and with an appreciation – always – for the fact that the world will always welcome lovers as time goes by!
Hope you all have a peaceful, love-filled week.
Please remember to visit my website at http://www.applemanshapiro.com to learn more about me, my psychotherapy practice, my book FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS: A Psychotherapist’s Journey Into and Beyond Her Mother’s Mental Illness and the ways to book me as a speaker, advocating for mental health in a variety of venues, at no fee!