I have frittered away my time tonight. No, I haven’t spent my time eating fried bits of batter, but I have spent the time unproductively. The two meanings come from completely different roots, with the proper usage for my current condition being the one which originally meant “to fragment into pieces”. Since there has been no cohesive thought which has sprung to mind, around which to construct a blog post, I will try to keep this one short (but, don’t count on it…).
My main problem this evening is the thought that perhaps I’ve fallen out of step with the folks around me. It’s almost as if everyone has moved on into a different room while I was admiring the artwork on the wall. Does that seem a strange concept to you? It did to me at first, also. I have said a few times that I sometimes feel I’m going through life unaware of my surroundings, unenlightened about the ebb and flow of the conversation of people in general. It’s not always true, but I feel that keenly tonight. It’s been coming on for awhile.
The last couple of weeks have awakened me to the thought that I am often clueless to the undercurrents. I’ve told you of my disappointment in folks I thought I knew. It seems that every new day brings a revelation of things happening which I am totally unaware of, in spite of my involvement in the process itself. Friends, customers, folks at my church…many have situations in their private lives which are devastating to them or, on the other extreme, exciting for them and on both accounts I am blissfully uninformed. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be for me now, but I’m not sure I like it much.
We are fortunate to have the Lovely Lady’s mother come to dinner with us most Sundays. Over the last year or so, we have noticed a distance growing in her interaction with the group at the table. We have blamed it on her growing deafness, but I suspect that there are other factors at work. It seems to me that the aging process moves us through seasons of life, seasons when we are sometimes more and then sometimes less engaged with those in our vicinity. When we are younger, we have our finger on the pulse of many people around us; responding to their joys and their pain; jumping in to help when we see a need. As time goes by, we seem to disengage a bit, perhaps seeking to feel the hurt less, perhaps just because our own problems seem to increase as we care for aging parents or ailing spouses and the ravages of time affect more of our long-time friends. We even experience the sorrow of loss more with every passing year. I have seen this in other folks of a certain age, but I’m not ready to move into that stage of life.
I don’t think any of us want to become irrelevant. I’m also not sure that it’s a clear and present danger for me right now, but it seems that possibly we have to work to stay engaged, even as the milieu in which we find ourselves changes. Our sphere of influence shifts continuously throughout life and we have to adapt with it. I’m working through that in my head right now.
So, actually I suppose I am not guilty of frittering. It doesn’t seem very productive at times, but just the awareness and seeking for direction can be a positive thing. I hope those of you who have already made the move to the next room will wait a moment for me.
I’ll catch up as soon as I can.
“For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress, and as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.”
(From “Morituri Salutamus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~American poet~1807-1882)