When you’re young, time seems to move so slowly.
I recall summer vacations from school when I was in elementary school. If we read 25 books during the summer, we were rewarded.
I read lots and lots of books. Books were my constant companion.
Those summer months seemed to go on forever. An unfurling ribbon with no end in sight.
“I give you this to take with you: Nothing remains as it was. If you know this, you can begin again, with pure joy in the uprooting.” – Judith Minty
But then you look in the mirror and you’ve become an adult. The clock kept ticking even though you were unaware of it.
I remember when I turned 30, I felt old. And I recall that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach that said: “One day you will die.”
I can still feel the fast beating of my heart as anxiety took over for a time. The fist squeezing my heart finally eased up that day and life went on.
More time passed.
Then before I knew it, I was 40. For some odd reason, that birthday didn’t bother me at all.
And then 50 and 60.
All the time we are living and breathing, that clock is ticking.
“Love is a rose and you’d better not pick it; it only grows when it’s on the vine.” – Unknown
You look in the mirror and you see laugh lines. Sad lines. Anxious and happy and scary times all gathered there together.
Those lines create tributaries, flowing downstream, leading to even bigger bodies of water.
Where did the time go, you ask yourself when you pause to think about it?
You will live through joyous times and also heartbreak. Over the years, you will enfold people into your life.
And you will feel the tight grip of loss when they leave.
I look back now, and it is all a blur. Those years of summer vacations when I was a child. The teen years when life was so uncertain.
Becoming an adult and a wife and mother.
Until finally comes the day when you stand in front of the mirror and see that life has etched even deeper lines into your face. Furrowed lines reminiscent of rows being dug in the garden, readying the soil for planting.
Seeds were planted and sometimes they germinated and came into existence. And sometimes they didn’t.
Those were your hopes and dreams.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” – Harvey Mackay
It is so you can see that you lived. You loved. You felt deep losses. Laughed and cried and everything in between.
Those lines are there to remind you.
And though you look back and it is often more blurry than not, the memories from all those years are kept. Left there for safekeeping.
I blinked and suddenly I was in my sixties. And I can smile now at the child that thought summer vacation was endless. That child had no idea of what lay ahead.
What happens in the next decades shapes you and defines you. You are all the moments combined.