timeless (adj): without beginning or end; everlasting; referring to or not affected by any particular time (enduring, lasting, abiding, permanent)

As I get older, the more I invest in that which is timeless. I focus on the fundamentals and gravitate to the classics. This includes music (that performed by an orchestra), clothing (a great fitting pair of jeans or the go-to little black dress), literature (anything written by Wharton, Whitman, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle), food (a perfectly pink filet or simple creme brulee), and movies.

Recently I watched “The Graduate” – set in the 1960s. The movie is pretty hilarious…and sobering…and titillating. I laughed out loud just as many times as I paused to empathize with the characters. At the beginning, Benjamin Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, who is a total deadpan stitch, is contemplating his future at his college graduation party:

Benjamin: I’m just…
Mr. Braddock: Worried?
Benjamin: Well…
Mr. Braddock: About what?
Benjamin: I guess about my future.
Mr. Braddock: What about it?
Benjamin: I don’t know… I want it to be…
Mr. Braddock: To be what?
Benjamin: [looks at his father] … Different.

What I think he fears is not being happy. Happiness is one of those nebulous concepts that is difficult to define. But then there is a scene, later in the film, that solidifies for me what happiness is about. Ben, while in bed with Mrs. Robinson, asks her what her major was in college and she wistfully responds ‘art.’ The iconic Mrs. Robinson seduces a 21-year old boy because she strayed from her passions – those things that invigorated and fueled her – and looked to a boy to fulfill them.

A material, superficial life lacks the basics – the classics. For me, these include:

  • constant learning
  • family
  • physical movement
  • art and the personal interpretation of life as beauty
  • hard work
  • relationships – trumping skills, experience and knowledge in any situation
  • finding humor in mundane or challenging tasks or experiences
  • sleep
  • being proactive, versus reactive
  • love, in the form of giving and helping others

When I deviate from these, I am not happy.

PS – I will always heart Jake Ryan. He is timeless. So is his red Porsche 944.

Jake Ryan t-shirt