I’ve been doing a 30-day yoga challenge on YouTube so I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately. It turns out time moves very slowly when you’re half-upside down and focused on your breath. It’s true, I admit it. I’ve become a yoga clock-watcher. Despite my general love of yoga, I think to myself quite often: when is this session going to end?? and I’m OK with thinking that because I always finish the session and I never regret putting in the time to stretch and move my body.
I wish I didn’t feel so rushed all the time but there is just so much to do.
You know that old Bil Keane quote that goes something like “Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present”?
I hate that quote. Always have. It just bugs me. It’s not even that I disagree with it. There’s just something about it that rubs me the wrong way. The whole concept of time and our lives progressing has been weighing heavy on my mind lately. I know I’m not the only one.
My husband has a birthday coming up. Not a major milestone birthday, but one of those ones where you pause and think, how the heck did I end up here? kind of birthdays. (Though, perhaps most people of a certain age begin to think that every year.)
I also recently talked to an old neighbour and we were lamenting the fact that our children — our babies — were going to be entering Kindergarten in the fall. How had it happened so soon that what I deem to be the absolute best years of my life (thus far anyway) had come and gone? Veteran moms had warned me the days were long but the years were short and, boy, were they right.
And don’t get me started on the time thief that is COVID-19.
I listen to my parents, who are older, but not yet elderly, and they’re fully aware that the clock is ticking on their lifetimes. They’ve been stuck for an entire year of what are supposed to be their Golden Years. A year away from their grandchildren. A year they were supposed to be off travelling and living it up. A year they won’t get back. And here we are now, beginning what looks to be a second year.
Of course there are moments in time I wish I could remember forever and I do my very best to capture them in some way. A photo, a video, a column… anything to help these moments imprint into my memory, which admittedly isn’t as good as I’d like it to be.
Memories like the other night at reading time when something in the book we were reading prompted my son to comment to my daughter that she’d be an ancestor one day too. Without skipping a beat, my daughter replied “and you’ll be an anbrother!”
Or just this week when my painfully shy son convinced his sister to go outside and meet the new, older, kid on the block and they ended up playing a little street hockey together. There was a time (like last week even) my son wouldn’t have had the courage. My how he’s grown.
To see how these children develop and learn and push themselves is worth knowing how quickly the time is passing to me. It’s bittersweet of course, but if time’s going to pass anyway, and it is, spending my time with my children as they grow up is just how I’d like to spend it. Time flies, they say. But we’re the pilots.
This doesn’t seem like much of a bright side does it? But here’s the thing. The very fact that we can whine about time is a blessing. For so, so many, their time has simply run out. They don’t get to worry about how fast it’s moving. It’s already gone. We are absolutely blessed to be able to look back at our pasts. With fondness or not, we get to look back. We are so lucky to have the chance to look ahead and to plan for the future. And we are fortunate beyond measure to have right here and right now. I, for one, am trying with all my might not to grip it too hard, but also not to hold it so loosely it slips away, but to let it rest in the palm of my hand and be grateful for the here and now.