It’s funny this tweet crossed my feed the morning after contemplating my insignificance during two sleepless (2-4 AM for those keeping score) hours early Thursday morning. For some reason I began thinking of my ancestry and that I really had no knowledge of family beyond my paternal grandparents, just two generations back. My mom’s parents were both deceased by the time she was seven, so she barely knew them, but I knew Mike and Lillian (Coleman) Daley. Lil’ the Thrill had a big impact on my life and actually saved it one night when then 16-year-old me came home past curfew deathly ill. While my grandmother accurately diagnosed my plight as “just a bug,” my mom was being a stickler for details and speculated while lunging at me that it was, “a beer and cigarette bug.” Anyway, Lil threw herself in front of me like she was Kevin Costner in “The Bodyguard” and I’m here writing this post.
Where was I? Oh, yeah. The generational thing. Having gone back in time, I then reversed the analysis to determine what future generation won’t know anything about me besides, “Oh, Nana Mackenzie told me he was a character.” Hey, I could do worse. In some ways, and besides actual genetics, the impact we have on subsequent family generations is fleeting, but in others it’s immortal. It’s like what Doc said to Marty in “Back to the Future,” “Figure it out, kid. Your old man was supposed to get hit by your Grandpa’s car, not you — therefore, you interfered in your parents’ first meeting. If they don’t meet, they don’t fall in love; if they don’t fall in love, they don’t get married; if they don’t get married they don*t have kids…” There are incalculable cosmic tumblers that have to fall into place to determine someone’s fate, so any actions we take or don’t can impact the fate of future generations, so let’s try to make them positive. A smile, a kind word, a gentle touch.
Which brings me to this day. This is the end before the beginning of a new year. What are you going to do with this time? Not just today, but with whatever days you have left. I’m working right now instead of being at a Van Gogh exhibit with my family in Boston – which has me questioning my life choices right there, although the upside is limiting my exposure to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, a decent life choice, imo.
In his book, Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman explains that’s roughly how many you’ll experience if you live to be 80. I’m reading it now and recommend it, but in case you choose other things to do with your remaining time, check out, I Read It So You Don’t Have To: Four Thousand Weeks. In Matthew McFarlane’s summary, he writes about “finitude,” which I interpret as the understanding that you only have roughly (80 – your age) X 52 weeks left. (Mom, don’t worry. I think you’re getting closer to 4,700 weeks…)
Our choices of what to do with those weeks define our lives and can have a lasting impact on others. So, what are you going to do with your weeks?