Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The ironies of life are endless - (but fascinating)

My birthday falls on the 30th of April, which means I always have a holiday the next day from it. Which would be perfect if I was given to wild parties and late nights. As it is, I wouldn't know a wild party if I landed slam dunk in the middle of one. How's that for irony.

And here's another one. Decisions which seemed like impossibly difficult 15 or 20 years ago seem to be trivial now. But of course I can't go back and make those choices again - instead there are new ones.

Though I have to admit that almost any decision gets easier with time. When you are twenty you feel like one wrong decision will alter the course of your life and you will have to live with it for maybe 40 years. Once you're above forty (or forty four as the case might be, ahem) you know two things. First, you know that life gives you many chances and most decisions tend to work out with a little luck, a little perseverance, and a little acceptance. More importantly, even if I do make a mistake, I'll only have to live with it for maybe another 15 or 16 years of active life. After that, who cares !  The joys of ageing.

Anyhow.

I have a long commute from work these days. And as I drive to and from work, it often seems to me to be an apt analogy for life. A long drive full of traffic jams, red lights, sights, sounds and colours. But always moving forward. You might slow down or stop briefly, but in the end it always takes you to your destination.

Ah yes, the final destination. It's funny how one suddenly starts thinking about mortality beyond a certain age. But not in a morbid way. It is fascinating actually to think that I have maybe 30 years or so to go - barring accident, illness, or other catastrophe of course.

I was born in 1969, the same year internet was first created. And it took the internet about 25 years or so to get widely noticed in the 90s, and about 35 - 40 years to really come of age.

Using this as a rough scale, some ideas which are on some innovator's drawing board today will mature too late for me to see them. As a techie I find that both kind of disappointing, and immensely fascinating. What will the Xbox look like in 2050 ? What will the internet be like in 2060 ? Will there be colonies on Mars after all ? How will we fight global warming ? I'll never know. And yet all this will happen.

It has been a fascinating journey so far. I remain, immensely blessed and slightly bewildered as I go through the years. Blessed for the love of my family, and bewildered at the sights life has shown me. Life is hard to predict before the fact, and harder to explain after the fact. So the best one can do is to sit back, open the window, and enjoy the ride.






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