I woke up this morning with the song, What’s it all about, Alfie? on auto-play in my head. It’s from the 1966 movie “Alfie,” which I’ve never seen. I was 9 years old in 1966.
To this day, I’m not entirely sure what the movie was about.
But I heard the song on the radio, and I used to play it at home on the piano (and sing along) in high school. I loved the words to the song.
“Is it just for the moment we live?”
Sometimes, and it seems like more and more at this stage of my life, I do wonder, What’s it all about?
“And if only fools are kind, Alfie,
“Then I guess it is wise to be cruel.”
I suppose it’s natural when a person makes it to this point in their life to stop and take a look around, like a mountain climber on the pinnacle. Because, face it, at the age of 54, unless I live to be 108, I am more than halfway along this life’s journey.That puts a certain level of urgency on the choices I make about how I spend the rest of my time. Do I even have a bucket list?
“I know there’s something much more,
Something even non-believers can believe in.”
My life’s work for many years was raising my children. Since that’s been gone, (emergency trips to Buffalo, and an occasional move in a U-haul notwithstanding), I’ve been left with something of a void or loss of purpose. I don’t think this is any different than someone who retires after working for many years. At some point most of us will have to face this turning point where we’re no longer doing what we did.
Also, at this point in my life, as happens for many of us, I have to face the changes that are naturally occurring in my birth family, my rock-solid base for so many years, and recognize that nothing lasts forever.
“I believe in love, Alfie.
“Without true love we just exist, Alfie.”
It’s unsettling for me to stand at this pinnacle and look back into the rich past and all the days I was surrounded by those I love the best. It’s unsettling to stand here and look at the open path ahead. It’s no wonder men buy little red sports cars in midlife.
“When you walk, let your heart lead the way. . .”
I still love the words to the song.