As you know, I’ve been entertaining my buddy Real Life and her tag-along friend Writer’s Block for the past few weeks. They keep dropping in unexpectedly at the most inopportune times. While waiting for them to leave, I’ve been musing about Time.
When I was kid, time dragged as I counted the days until Christmas, summer vacation, big events, and shows on television. I was in hurry to do things, to grow up so I could participate in the magical world of adults. Right. When I wrote the first check on my mortgage and contemplated my shrinking paycheck, I wondered what the hurry was. Then time sped up and moved along side me and I seemed to have all the time in the world to pursue my dreams and aspirations. If something didn’t work out, there was always next week, or next month or next year. Then time jogged a bit faster, almost outpacing me when I perceived some goals were not going to be met at a self-imposed deadline.
Now I look around and think, “where has time gone?” as if I’d just blinked and the graying hair and sag to the jawline suddenly appeared. My mind resets itself to a youthful image while I sleep and I’m surprised every morning. Time is no longer behind or alongside but slightly ahead. I’m moving through the middle of middle-age. As the effects of aging begin to show, I become more conscious of my mortality and wonder what happens next. I’m aware it’s simply another transition in life’s cycle, something I need to consider and prepare for so that I can progress gracefully. Luckily I don’t feel any pressure in aging other than my own imaginings; my job and relationships are not impacted by it.
As an older fan, it’s been interesting observing Richard Armitage who is beginning middle age. After the Hobbit press conference, some fans wondered why he mentioned being middle aged. Some explained he was selling himself to the public as old enough to play Thorin. That may be, but he said it before in an earlier interview. Another actor I like, David Tennant, repeated the same thing enough that he sounded a bit fixated. Their profession is youth-oriented, even obsessed and they must be keenly aware their days as leading man material are numbered even at 40. Life’s cycles seem accelerated in a business based on whether the people who hire you think the public will watch you. Time is not kind. Child actors have a difficult time transitioning to adult roles. Leading actors get shunted to character roles before hopefully not getting lost in the obscurity of old age.
So when relatively young men like RA and DT bang on about middle age (amusingly from my vantage point), I wonder if they’re also pondering, looking in the mirror and reminding themselves that yes, time is marching on and they must plan accordingly.