As I walked down the street the other day, I stopped and looked around. Lots of hustle and bustle. It was rush hour. The morning rush. People going places. Busy. Getting stuff done. The stuff of life. Going to work. Taking their kids to school. Getting a coffee and donuts at Tim Hortons. Just running errands.
Time doesn't seem to matter when that happens. Reflection takes a backseat. Weeks, years, decades aren't really on the mind of those just going about their daily life. Only later when we reflect do we put those events together. Memories are great, but they are only great if you live them in the moment. They can't be savored while they are being lived. To do that would almost spoil them.
For the last 10 or 15 years, I have thought too much about that. About the past. Decades seemed to mean so much more in those days. They had an identity, a character. Or did they?
I was born in 1965. I am sure that although the decade of the 60's was very significant, at the time the people were just living their lives. Groceries still had to be bought, kids had to be educated, laundry had to be picked up. Babies had to be changed. That gets lost in our memories.
2012. It's just a number, right?
Even though I know that, for me it has never been just a number.
As a child of the 60s, it seemed that every decade that came before, and seemingly after, had some kind of character or specific period attached to it.
The 1930s were the depression era. The Dirty Thirties, when people starved and the prairies were dry. We learned that in school. That whole Grapes Of Wrath thing.
The 1940s were all about the war. WW2. The whole world was in conflict and then it resolved itself and the new era was ushered in. A lot of that began with the oncoming technology of television.
The 1950s were "The Happy Days". American culture began to dominate the world and the images today of that era still persist.
The 1960s were a time of conflict. The race riots, Woodstock, drugs and the beginnings of a breakdown in the American Dream
The 1970s, the one decade I remember the most, was a time when so much happened but nothing really defined the decade. It was kind of a transitional period.
Yes, they were interesting times, but not so much when people lived them.
These days..society has no identity. When we look back on the decade that was 2000-2010, how would we describe it in twenty or thirty years? Today doesn't have an identity. but it is still life and life goes on. It is really about days, and hours and minutes. not decades and years and blocks of time.
What is the identity of the times we live in today? Maybe we just can't say that until we reflect back on them in 30 years. At that time, while we are doing that, we probably will be sitting in a coffee shop, eating a donut and enjoying our lives as we live them that day..and making new memories.
There are a few things I know that will always be true.
A cow will always be a cow. Their life goal will be to eat grass and make babies.
Men will always look at women and their boobs.
Women will always cry at sad movies.
Politicians will always promise whatever it takes to get elected.
Men and women will always want to have sex with each other.
Those things are timeless.
As I went to the dentist the other day and walked down the street there were people going places, doing things. Getting on with their daily lives. They weren't aware of it. We wouldn't even think of days as years..or decades as we make our way each day.
Just don't think about it...a day is a day is a day.