Ever see ‘Groundhog Day’? It was a great film made in 1992 starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. Bill found himself repeating the same day over and over for about 34 years. He got so good at remembering every little thing that was about to happen, he was even able to predict conversations and the actions of those around him. This state of living carried on until he ‘got it’. It’s the most existential thing I’ve ever seen.
I’ve lived like that occasionally – albeit not for long. The most unsettling part of the whole experience is the sheer boredom and lack of meaning in your life. It softly descends like a comfortable old blanket and settles gently over your head. It can feel quite cosy and safe hidden underneath. No challenges. No fear. Tomorrow will, in all likelihood, be much like today. Safe.
But that’s not life. I don’t think we evolved to live swaddled in a soft blanket, be surrounded by predictability, never go hungry and always have money/stuff. Change is good. It’s challenging. It not only keeps your senses sharp but also adds a little touch of hunger from time to time. This can bring on all sorts of physical and mental reactions such as; a thankful appreciation of food, stimulating conversation, occasional fear of the unknown, excitement for the new.
Which leads me to ageing..
After travelling around a bit, it seems to me that the more affluent and ‘first world’ the country, the more tightly we want to be swaddled in our soft blanket. After all, it can get pretty chilly in God’s waiting room. Are we meant to save up for it? Not spend? Not use up valuable energy on new projects/people? Not make a new life?
Surely it makes more sense to pack as much in as we can. More experiences, more listening, more laughing, more loving. Does it matter that we do this from a gated community, a one bedroom flat or even a tent in the nearest park?
What are we saving up for anyway? Is this going to be your conversation with the great cosmic bartender…
“So, what’ll it be pardner? Whiskey on the rocks?”
“Umm, no thanks. I’ll have a weak cordial. BUT IN A DIRTY GLASS!”
or will it be,
“Ahh, stuff it. Give me a double. Neat! And a packet of Marlborough. And, er, can I put it on the slate?”
Bring on the (ersatz) revolution.
What do you think of this thoughtful piece? How are you living out the rest of your life? Are you making changes?