Seen on a plaque in Cornwall:
NOW IS THE TIME TO DRINK CHAMPAGNE AND DANCE ON THE TABLE
I’m not sure that it’s wise to encourage the more mature, though not necessarily more sober of thought (and action) members of society to be dancing on tables. It’s not so much the chance of a broken hip, it’s more the chance of a spilled drink.
Lets face it, some of us have reached that marvellous point in life where investing in long-term savings or believing that any diet programme will actually make a difference, is pretty pointless.
The only thing we believe in now is that life doesn’t last for ever and what we want or need to do cannot wait a year, a month, or even a day. The time is now.
Those things that were pushed to one side in the grown-up world of mortgages and family food bills begin to float to the top of the “things to do pile” in this new free, less stressful, slightly manic, let’s-do-it-while-we-can phase of life. We don’t have to be so serious. We don’t have to worry about how the world is changing. It can’t be our problem. We may have the answers, but no-one is listening. We are past our prime, vegetating in our own rocking chair, knitting bonnets for the next generation.
Except we are not. Champagne is cursing through our veins. Not literally. Not always. Sometimes on a Saturday. Sometimes it’s just sherry. But most times, whatever is in there is still running smoothly, thanks to the daily aspirin.
Now’s the time to shake the shackles loose. A bit. Now we can take what our grandchildren taught us and use it. We can believe in their magic.
We have more in common with them now than with our children. We understand each other. We understand their innocence, their naivety, their thirst for all things exciting and interesting, their determination to stretch their parents’ patience to the limit.
And they understand our reluctance to roll in the snow and our willingness to do it if they ask nicely. They forgive our shortcomings. They allow us to be slower, to miss the goaly hole, to run like a three-legged camel when we play cricket. They always know where we put our glasses and when they look at us, really look at us, they don’t see the weariness, they look past the wrinkles, they don’t question the flaws, the faults, the forgetfulness. They don’t see the years of doubt, of worry, the anger because things sometimes didn’t turn out the way we’d wanted them to. They see us. Plain and simple.
Growing up made us cynics, let growing older make us believers. We can allow the child that still lingers somewhere deep inside us to take the reins. Remind us how to live. Remind us that true magic happens everywhere, everyday. We just need to recognise it.
Soon enough we’ll be sitting at the back of the room at weddings and christenings, one good eye on the time, wishing the music wasn’t so loud, trying to lip read in the dark and nodding in what we hope are all the right places. (I know. I already am too.)
(It’s a strange thing that as we’re gradually moved further towards the back of the room for happy family gatherings, we’re moved in the opposite direction, finding ourselves in the front pew, at funerals.)
We are aware that there is so little time left for throwing caution to the wind, little time for once more grabbing life and ringing the hell out of it.
So it has to be now – the dancing in the rain, on tables, in Tesco. Anywhere you like.
And if we spill the drink? A chance you take when your glass is full.
And if we fall off the table? Well, all things have to end. Anyway, we had a ball didn’t we and we’ve got the memories to prove it!