Word of the Day: Heyday

Funny word, and I’d argue almost always used very subjectively. It’s linked inextricably to that most dangerous of emotions: nostalgia. So often, because we put so much weight on our emotions over reason, we use heydey in an immutably factual sense. Maybe there is truth in it, or half-truth, but maybe not.

It was Socrates in his final days who is said to have uttered the now famous line about the unexamined life having no value, not even enough to bother living. That’s almost another argument altogether as it lords our vanity about our intellect above the rest of the natural world — and it’s even hubris that we assume that a squid for example doesn’t have the capacity…

I digress.

I digress would be a more fitting title for my aborted 75,000 word memoir.

Anyway, let’s talk about this heyday thing. How famous, just for argument’s sake, would a person have to be to have had a heyday? Or to be a part of the said heyday of some other thing? Could any old schmuck have a heyday? I think Socrates would have been a sort to ruminate on this, in his heyday… that is to say, before he was executed for corrupting the youth. What was that about anyway? Was he shagging them or teaching them to ask questions that people didn’t necessarily want asked? Or both? What exactly was he up to in his heyday?

I do agree with Socrates about the value of examining one’s life. I don’t really agree with the second part about the unexamined life not being worth living, but I know what the willingness to go there has brought to my own life. I also know what nostalgia has taken away, or rather what getting trapped in a sensation of longing for another time has stolen. That is, and this cannot be argued, a total loss for today. End of story. There is certainly a degree of warmth in remembering specific people and incidents and moments, but beyond that… trap.

So what was my heyday? I may possibly have had several if looked at across a linear/chronological chart of peaks of accomplishment and happiness. And again, this is purely subjective since we’re weighing my accomplishments against people of greater fame and fortune, but for shits and giggles. Aw damn, it comes down to this. Choosing one peak based on whatever random criteria I can choose, suggests that there were peaks I’ll never again reach. My goals are different. I’ve a sneaking suspicion that despite a lot of subjective evidence to the contrary, that my peak hasn’t come yet. To suggest otherwise opens up a cycle of compare and despair. It’s a set-up for self-disappointment and that’s not really all that productive, is it?

Fucking hell, I’m really just thinking aloud here, but what was your heyday? Are you willing, at whatever stage you’re at in your life to accept that you’ve already peaked and you’ll never do better? Time to change your basis of measurement, my guy. Time to change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s