Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
― Alfred Tennyson, Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems
In 1982’s Blade Runner, Dr. Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel) tells his robotic invention, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), to “revel in your time” as the human replicant tries to extend his limited lifespan. We often associate “reveling in our time” with the glory years of college or perhaps the youthful exploits of high school. As time rolls on, the revelry seems to subside and we shift into the pragmatic necessities of providing for our families, managing our careers, paying our mortgage, etc. etc. etc.
I’m not interested in reminiscing or trying to convince you that there is any return to youthful glory. There is no going back and trust me when I say it was not as glorious as you may remember it. However, I’ve come to realize that revelry is time specific. Reveling in your time is enjoying your capabilities and gifts in the moments that you have them. It’s not about being something you once were (or at least thought you were!). It is about being the most of what you are right now.
In my post, The Satisfaction of Work, I discuss the joys of labor and the sense of completeness we get from engaging in our work at its most basic level. Revelry then becomes a celebration of your talents; even the must mundane. The ability to push your lawnmower may seem a gift in later days when it becomes physically impossible. Your current challenge-laden work weeks may be described as your “glory days” in that future in which you don’t show up to an office each and every day or have people calling you for decisions. Many of the tasks and obstacles that hamper us today could become lost friends as we face the limitations imposed upon us toward the end of our lives.
“Your current challenge-laden work weeks may be described as your “glory days” in that future in which you don’t show up to an office each and every day or have people calling you for decisions.”
Revel in all of which you are capable, today. We are amazing organisms at every stage of our existence. In youth, we have physical capabilities that astound us as we get older. Resilience, endurance and energy are abundant and available. As we age, we start to slow down physically but time gifts us with the badges of experience. We garner the knowledge and wisdom that give context and texture to the nuances of life. Embrace them. Share them. Employ your physical, intellectual and wisdom gifts as often as possible. Like so much of this journey, they too can be fleeting.