Right now I feel an indefinable angst. I am in retirement and bored, looking to find new goals and purposes for my life. I am not satisfied with this existence, where every day is the same as the one before. I remember an old song from the late 1960’s, “Is That All There Is?” The singer describes various life experiences, noting that something seems to be missing, that the experience — be it a fire, a circus, or love — is ultimately unfulfilling. Life is therefore only a series of disappointments.
I don’t like the song. I don’t like its cynicism. It implies that life has an obligation to provide us with fulfillment and meaning without any effort on our part. To a large extent, life is what you make it. Life is a canvas, you are the artist. Paint something! Only you can provide meaning and purpose for your life. If you wait for some outside agency to provide it for you, you may end up singing “Is That All There Is?”:
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is