Monday, December 3, 2012

A Reflection on Time

The moment you have a child everyone tells you how fast it goes. People wake up and suddenly their children are graduating from high school, getting married or having their own children. They are stunned by how time has flown by and a sadness sets in. It is never said but understood that the person has missed it. The high speed train of life just pushed them off on the almost last stop and it went by without even a flinch. This makes me feel anxious, almost a feeling of panic.. Matter of fact, my armpits are a little sweaty just contemplating this phenomenon.

However, consider this, when you have to prepare and deliver a speech in front of a large group, time stands still. When you trip at the mall, on stage, getting into the pew on Sunday morning time freezes. Try standing on one foot and patting your head for 30 seconds without looking at a clock, chances are you will glance before the half minute has passed. Surely I am not the only one that juggles more than one thing during the day, at work I put in my lunch in the microwave in the faculty lounge for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I hit start go to the rest room to pee, wash my hands, glance at myself in the mirror, return to the lounge, check my faculty mailbox and more often than not my food is still not ready. At home, I can change a diaper, find Dora, fill a sippy cup, put the wash in the dryer and grab the mail as the beeping alerts me of readiness of my meal. Time can stand still if we want it to.

In the spirit of taking time by its reins and enjoying my daughters, I intentionally take a deep breath and watch them slowly. I take in the squeal from Lydia and the babbling from Vivi. I cuddle with them often and make sure to take a whiff of their baby scents (though the toddler isn't always so sweet.) The other night we put on Christmas music while we decorated the tree and we danced in our big empty living room, Eliot with Lydia and I with Vivian cheek to cheek. Tears of joy rolled down my face as it dawned on me that moments such as those are unique. We may never have that again. Partly because eventually I would like to get furniture for that room, but partly because it will become harder to carry them in our arms. But I didn't miss it. I have stored the moment in heart forever.

Life will go by. It's part of the point. I am sure in 20 years I too will wonder where time has gone, but I refuse to live a life being enveloped by a fast paced society. I want every day to stop and smell the roses; to notice what my children have learned and spend time in our home together nurturing them every single day despite the to-do list, and despite the social commitments. I am devoted to living a slower life; to "sucking the marrow out of life" as Thoreau would demand, to enjoying time instead of being frustrated with time. I am thankful for the time we do have each and everyday. I will suck the marrow and store every drop in my heart all the days of life.

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