Temporary yet Timeless

Though I like having nice things as much as the next person, I have to admit that I am more of a sucker for experiences.

While material objects you acquire may be permanent (in the practical sense of the word), it is human nature to slowly just get used to its presence and take it for granted. And then that grand old antique grandfather clock you coveted forever until you found it on a killer deal loses its appeal, and its ability to make you happy.  Even worse, acquired things may only be temporary (like money), in which case the happiness they bring is doubly short-lived and may even be followed by some misery!

Experiences, however, are usually by nature temporary — and yet, they are timeless! Think back to a wonderful family vacation, or a funny incident that happened to you, or even a particularly interesting class you took or a memorable event you participated in. Think back to a time when you learned something new, or saw something in new light, gained a different perspective, or found a new way of looking at things which you had never considered before. Chances are, simply thinking back to the family vacation brought an image to your mind, or remembering that funny incident made you chuckle. All of these experiences were in the past, their time come and gone, activities done and over with. And yet, you carry some essence of them with you forever!

Experiences, unlike physical objects, also have the potential to teach you things and promote self-growth. This is perhaps almost more true of unpleasant experiences than pleasant ones, a chronic illness for example. I remember in Michael J. Fox’s autobiography, Lucky Man, he said getting Parkinson’s disease was one of the best things that happened to him. Until I gained some acceptance of fibromyalgia, I could never have understood what he meant. But even in dealing with what has been a far less debilitating experience than Parkinson’s, I have learned and grown so much that I am kind of glad it happened to me. Sounds strange, doesn’t it, given how much I gripe about it? But I feel like the griping and then getting over it is all a part of the experience too!

Particularly, the experience of going through a competitive grad program with FM has taught me an important lesson in life. That regardless of what others say, think or do, you’ve got to be true to yourself! Your self-worth cannot hinge on others’ (negative) evaluation of you. You cannot educate everybody, not even when you talk the science behind your condition to scientists. When you feel alone, instead of feeling dejected and lonely, use that space to spread your wings and find your own flight. Do not feel guilty if you choose to use a particularly good day to turn your back on the world and enjoy it simply for yourself! There are too few of those in our lives to waste them on others’ expectations of how you should be spending them, rather than how you want to be spending them.

Perhaps all these thoughts combined made me particularly fond of the featured image, which I clicked on a recent trip to the local zoo. Here’s a pelican who doesn’t give a hoot about the world, he’s without a care except to just make the most of a beautiful day! The photo, a bit overexposed, is perhaps technically flawed, but you can really feel the sun on his back, the splash of the cool water, and his ecstasy of motion.

It is a reminder to live life unabashed and cherish small moments of pleasure.

A reminder to not let imperfections tarnish the timeless beauty of the experiences.



5 thoughts on “Temporary yet Timeless

  1. ‘Temporary yet timeless’ So love this phrase that I might actually borrow it. If I do, I’ll let you know 😀 There are some material things that I can’t seem to let go of. For instance, that childhood blanket I still use today, that stuffed toy that has traveled with me everywhere, something my parents gave me and so on. Sometimes timeless memories will always be associated with a certain object, or even be an object.

    But more often than not, like you I pride experience over physical objects especially when it comes to buying stuff for myself. I’d rather have one great moment hanging out with people that I love compared to having a thousand dollars to buy a new wardrobe for myself. As you said, we learn from each experience and learning in itself is priceless – and so is making connections, being there for each other and trying to understand each other. At the end of the day we are who we are because of where we’ve been and who we’ve met, and how we choose to spend our time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, borrow away, I don’t mind at all! I think it is more than fair trade for your always sharing your wonderful perspectives with me! 🙂 I love how you say: “we are who we are because of where we’ve been and who we’ve met, and how we choose to spend our time”. I cannot agree more! Our learning, experiences and connections are certainly what shape us and our personalities. ❤ And you are so right about how some things we own are linked with old memories or emotions, so we are intimately attached to them. I feel like that about many of the mementos I collect from visiting a place, or a particularly special gift. I still have the cards, for example, that my husband and I exchanged when we were dating long-distance. It's like just looking at them, such things have the power to instantly carry us away back in time and space to the period that the object is from. Photographs are like that too I think! And those kinds of things are in a class apart from others. They're most certainly are special, and equally timeless! ❤


      1. So true that mementos and photographs can carry us away to another world. It’s the little things that triggers the memory, and sometimes it may be more physical, other times more emotional. We all tick differently.

        So cute of you and your husband to keep cards you’ve both exchanged. Wishing the two of you the very best. If you can tackle distance, physical and emotional, you can tackle anything ❤

        Liked by 1 person

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