If that old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is true, then all I can say is, I must be having the time of my life. Because time is flying by so quickly these days that I can barely keep up. According to the calendar, Summer is drawing to a close. But I swear it was just yesterday that I was busy replacing all the Winter clothes in my closet with light-weight Summer tops and capris. How can it possibly be time to start thinking about Fall?
And it’s not just the seasons that are flying by. The nieces and nephews that I watched grow up now have kids of their own, and some of those kids have already graduated from high school. Logically, I know that means a whole lot of years have passed since my nieces and nephews were born. But emotionally, I tend to believe that they all must have found some sort of time machine that turned them into mature adults in the blink of an eye. And I can only assume that my own kids must have used the same machine, because how else could my youngest one be thirty?
I’ve always known that time is a relative thing, because I remember the days of my own childhood when I would sit in classroom, sneaking peeks at the wall clock while I waited impatiently for recess. The minutes simply dragged by until that long-awaited recess bell finally rang and we all rushed outside to play. And yet those fifteen minutes of recess just flew by, because it seemed as if I had barely started to have fun before the bell rang again and we all had to line up and go back in the school building.
But what I didn’t realize was the fact that the older I became, the faster time would speed by. I didn’t know that I was going to reach a stage in my life when I really, really wanted time to slow down, and not just when I was having fun. I had no idea that with age comes the understanding that our time in this world is limited, and meant to be savored and enjoyed as much as we possibly can.
It almost seems unfair that this is a lesson that we don’t seem to learn until we have lived long enough that we’ve become far too familiar with grief and loss, and stopped assuming that the people we care for the most will always be with us. At age sixty-one, I’m also accepting that I no longer have a long lifetime ahead of me to pursue unfulfilled dreams or repair broken relationships. So I suppose it’s only natural that I feel that time is passing by far too quickly now, and why I really wish there was a way to slow things down a bit.
Unfortunately, I have absolutely no control of the great cosmic clock, which will tick on at the same speed it always has, whether I like it or not. The only thing I can do, and the only thing any of us can do, is to spend the time we have left wisely. For me, that means letting go of petty jealousy and anger, and actually doing the things that I love rather than thinking that I’ll get around to it someday. And most importantly, making sure I spend as much time with the people I love right now, while I still can.