FLEETING

I don’t know when it happened, but I have lost all sense of time.

Minutes feel like hours, weeks feel like months. Months feel like days. A year passes in an instant. Sometimes it seems as though I’ve blown through half a lifetime in a decade.

Take work. Did I email that colleague a week ago? Nope, it was day before yesterday. The meeting was Tuesday, right? Uh, no, it was last month. I give silent thanks for undeleted emails and calendars that let me retrace my steps as I try to get my bearings.

My days either drag (workdays, for example, unless I’m so busy I don’t even have time to take a break) or fly (mostly weekends, which come and go as though they never happened). What do you mean, two years have gone by since I bought my house/started my job/washed my windows/saw my friend?

There have been periods in my recent life – if three years ago was recent – that I chronicled in excruciating detail so that I wouldn’t forget how and when A, B and C came to pass. Now, far into the future, I look back and am comforted that I can pull out a moment and set it gently into its proper place in the timeline of my life.

How do you hold on to time? It’s so easy when you’re young – everything seems to take forever: the time between now and Christmas, turning 16 so you can drive, turning 21 so you can have a beer and be an adult. When you get near the other end of life, you wish that you hadn’t wished so hard when you were young that time would hurry itself along. I look at my father and wonder how, when you’re 85, you imagine the future.

Mindfulness, some say, is the key – living not in the past or in the future, but in the present moment, right where you are. It’s a difficult concept, a more difficult exercise. I haven’t mastered it, but then, I haven’t worked at it very hard.

It takes practice, and really, who has the time?

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About Mindy

I am divorced, no kids, working full-time in corporate communications. There are never enough hours in my day, mostly because I insist on hygiene, food, exercise and clean dishes. Really, how do women with kids do it?!?
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3 Responses to FLEETING

  1. lindeeq says:

    My mother (who is 82) keeps saying, whenever I mention how time has speeded up, “wait til you are my age, the years pass by as fast as turning a calendar page.” Yikes!
    Though a number of friends haave mentioned that they think time has speeded up. The clocks move at the same speed but I have a nephew who is only 21 who has noticed how fast things seem to move. Could it be the fast pace of life these days? I always wonder if I were living out on a farm in Scotland (silent dream) if time would seem to be more in tune with the pace of life living closer to nature.

  2. Michele says:

    I think it probably would be, Linda. I am amazed on days when I stay outside a lot, going from gardening, to other yard work, then maybe tennis or a walk, that it is incredible how long the day is, like a gift. I know I breathe better, too, and stay more in the moment, than worrying about everything else that is spinning along.

  3. Mindy says:

    My theory used to be that as you got older, each day was a smaller percentage of your life, so in some ways each day really did get shorter. I think it’s affected by what you put into your days, as well as the fact that we all seem to try to cram more in than we used to. But I also wish for contradictory things: shorter days at work but longer months. Ain’t gonna happen.

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