I’d be rich if I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “Consider the alternative,” in response to my lament that I don’t like getting old.
For I have considered the alternative. Every stinking time, frankly, though I’m not sure either is a great alternative. In fact, I’m still considering it and wondering how I can decline both of these choices.
But, you know who’s really to blame for this conundrum I’m in?
Think about it. From the moment we’re born we’re living on borrowed time. Which is why I’ve decided to boycott this fleeting commodity. It’s built a web around us, and we’ve all fallen prey to it.
If you’re like me, your childhood seemed to go on forever, and you spent it impatiently saying things like this:
I can’t wait for summer!
I can’t wait for Christmas or (insert other holiday here)!
I can’t wait for my birthday!
I can’t wait to go to the beach, the amusement park (or whatever it is your heart was desiring.)
I can’t wait for school to be over!
I can’t wait to go to college!
I can’t wait to go abroad!
I can’t wait for my cousins to visit!
I can’t wait to be married!
I can’t wait for those jeans to go sale.
I can’t wait for the divorce to be final.
I can’t wait for (add whatever it is you couldn’t wait for here)!
Now, all these years later, you might ask yourself, what exactly was the rush?
In fact, about the only thing most of us seem happy to wait for is the alternative: death. And yet death waits for no one. Or so they say.
Time. It’s around us but it’s invisible. You can hear it rushing by, sometimes faster than the speed of light. It reflects on us in how we age, in the saggy parts and crow’s feet we develop over time. And the gray hairs, too. We can have them colored but only for so long. Time always has the upper hand, watching us throw money away in an effort to stay youthful looking. Time always wins.
It’s a constant reminder of how little time we have. Which is why we now say things like: “Live in the moment.” “Each day is a gift.” “One day at a time.”
Time. Seems like it’s nothing more than a cliche.
All good things must past.
Time flies when you’re having fun. Time is of the essence. A wrinkle in time. A stitch in time. Time is money.
Our very existence depends on the time. It won’t standstill even if we hold our breath. No matter how many times we say, pretty please.
For every season, turn, turn, turn…there’s a ticking clock.
The Big Clock. Did you ever see that film starring Ray Milland and Charles Laughton? It’s a race against time that’ll have you at the edge of your seat.
Though, here we go again, trying to beat the clock. Out-fox it, if you will. But guess who always wins?
Time. It has the upper hand (pardon the pun). And the little hand, for that matter. Always. Unless, of course, you’re lucky enough to have a time machine.
How I wish I had one. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fantasizes about having access to one. Many a book has been written about time travel. Many a film has been made, entertaining the notion. It is my favorite fantasy. To travel through time. In fact, if you ask me, the best part of the 1960 film version of The Time Machine, is when Rod Taylor gets into the machine in his house, and as he travels into the future, he looks out the window at a mannequin in a window display across the street. While he’s looking at it, he sees the outfits on the mannequin rapidly change, each one showing a little more, ahem, leg than the last. Like a parade of fashions as he passes through each decade.
A sampling of other movies and/or books about time travel:
The Time Tunnel
The Time Travelers Wife
Time After Time
Back to the Future trilogy
Somewhere in Time
I have a feeling if any of us really had a time machine, nearly all of us would want to go back in time, and not necessarily forward, to the scary unknown. But what do you think? If you could travel in time, where would you go and why?
As for considering the alternative, I’m actually wondering if I can call a lifeline. I’d like a second opinion, after all.