i stand by a machine in the workshop and offer advice to the aprentice. it suddenly strikes me what i'm doing makes me feel really old. it used to be me standing there where he's standing, eyes bright and wide, full of rapt attention. it was i who listened while the old hands offered advice, some willingly and at great length, some grudgingly having to train you up only because they had been told to.
here he stands now as i was then, getting the knowledge, tools shiny and new in their hand me down box, looking forward to his future as a tradesman wise and experienced. here i stand looking back to the past, and youth and a time when my back wasn't a long slow ache. when your future becomes shorter than your past, its then that you begin to feel old. perhaps i shouldn't have been stoned for twenty years, perhaps i could have made something more of my life, but then perhaps not. i think the most pointless emotion in the world is regret, unless some bright spark comes up with a time machine theres absolutely nothing anyone can do about the past
I hear what you're putting down. I, too, am a tradesman nearing the end of my working life. I, too, am responsible for the training of the new people coming on line. It is a good feeling for the most part to be able to pass along what I have learned, to help others learn what they need to know.
And you're right - I have made mistakes through my life I regret, but would not change them. They are part of what I am and without them I would be someone else. No regrets.
I am 50 years old and I do think about the 30 or 40 years I have left on this earth. I have regretted things I've said and regretted things I didn't say. Many regrets litter my past road, but now I've tried to learn from them all. I am in a place where I can glance back while looking forward. I've learned to visit the past but not to stay there or live there. I'm learning to live in the present with one foot in the future. Yes, the years teach much which the days never knew (I forgot who wrote this quote).
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