Lost Cats, Lost Time

Some days I wake up feeling like shit. Irrationally so. Reading, really reading slowly not skimming this new (sort of—I knew it seemed familiar then remembered reading an extremely abbreviated version in O Magazine awhile ago at the gym, which is the only place I would read Oprah) Mary Gaitskill essay, “Lost Cat” didn’t make me feel less shitty, in fact I think it would make the average person bawl but I was glad to have read it. I think I should spend my full lunch hour doing real reading instead of scanning RSS feeds.

It only recently occurred to me that I should be five years younger and then I would be happy(er). I’ve never had a life to-do list: kids, marriage, home ownership, etc. and those aren’t the milestones I’m really talking about. I have nice-ish apartment, a stable ok paying job, enough spending money to occasionally splurge on clothing, trips and dining and sometimes people pay me to write. That’s not a bad place to be, but I can’t help thinking that this is where I should’ve been a decade ago. Which is always easy to say looking back. By now, I should be in a totally different strata, a fabulous strata that doesn’t just happen to you as it turns out but is self-created.

Except that in my 20s I was doing what I could at the time. It’s not like I’ve frittered huge chunks of my life away. But as I get closer to 40 than 30 I worry about all the little bits of time that can be squandered. One lazy week times ten can really add up. Months can turn into years. Sometimes I feel sick to my stomach over wasted time. In fact, I’m doing it this very second.

I think this calls for a revisiting of the Forgive Me For Time Lost prayer.

6 thoughts on “Lost Cats, Lost Time

  1. I can relate to the feeling completely. On the self conscious occasion I have been forced to answer for my limited growth by implying my having lost a decade or so to the prison system. That seems acceptable to most. I have noticed that several friends of mine have wound back the odometer a few years according to their facebook profiles. I can sympathize with fighting off 40 a few years but anything over five seems pointless as you run the serious risk of looking like shit for 33. Some cases seems so sad that several times I have found myself hesitating momentarily before pointing out the typo on their wall.

  2. C SWEET: I actually removed the years from my education on Facebook yesterday. I’m always weirded out when people use “handles” like 1982girl or mama79, you know? Though oddly, I’ve been hemming and hawing for a decade over a tattoo I want that includes my year of birth. I plan on getting it in the next month.

    I think I could get away with shaving maybe four years off my age but anything more than that would be pushing it. No one would question me if I said 33 but yeah, anything less and the haggard truth would be known.

    I’m glad to hear this isn’t an NYC affliction. People don’t seem to squander their 20s here. I mean, they do, but it’s on their parents’ dime while they’re doing a prestigious internship or something glamorous that pays nothing.

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