Simon is on a Kung Fu Panda kick suddenly, after years of ignoring those movies. There was a line that stood out to me from Oogway, the old turtle, where he says:
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.
True words, certainly. Infuriatingly true, but difficult to accept when everything that you really want to do you can't, presently.
I'm at the age now where it's reasonable to be thinking about what retirement looks like. Of course, I'm frustrated that I made poor choices in my 20's as far as saving and investment goes, but it seems like I have a shot at making some of that up. I got a late start to parenting, too, so empty nesting won't come for me until I'm in my late 50's. I don't want to wait until official retirement age to have whatever it is that I think retirement lifestyle is though. There's a spot where the future and the present are at odds: You have to plan for your future, but thinking about that makes you realize that you shouldn't wait for the future either. There's no time like the present to live your best life.
Now layer on a global pandemic, where you can't travel to Europe because your fellow citizens are awash in a mess of entitlement and denial, concerts and festivals can't be a thing, and it's definitely not responsible to have a party. The present restricts your choices, and it doesn't take long to get bored with drinking on weekends and scrolling through online nonsense.
This isn't all bad, mind you. All of this time to contemplate life has made me realize several important things. The first is that I am a creative person who doesn't spend enough time creating. I'm working hard on that to whatever extent feels good on a day, and I'm not beating myself up for doing nothing. The second thing is that work is going to be a part of who you are, whether you like it or not. If it's exceptionally difficult, the problem may not be you. I see that with great clarity now, being well supported at all levels. And finally, for better or worse, your child in many ways becomes a product of your actions, so choose them carefully. It's so hard to consistently do the right things.
Today doesn't feel like a gift, because we lost one of our animals to old age, Diana's battling headaches again, Simon is struggling with crashing computer games, and I'm just having a tantrum about all of it. But there's a cuddle pile watching the Panda movie (again), a meal on the horizon that will involve cheese and I'm going to play some tunes for my friends. Sometimes the small things are the gifts.