I remember reading in a book once, though it escapes me just which one, that time is a very plastic thing, almost subjective, and to be honest, I never gave it much thought.
But boy is it.
I remember when I was a kid, especially a teenager, I thought time would never pass. I mean, like, NEVER. Remember? Remember how you were waiting for something to happen, just anything, and you thought it never would, that would just be stuck in whatever crappy thing you were in at the time? You never thought about getting older, because you couldn’t even conceive of it–being old! Being thirty!
And now it isn’t like that anymore. I’m well past thirty and time doesn’t pass in seconds, or even minutes or hours, but big hunks that slip by me while I’m not looking, while I’m attending the minutiae that is my life. Don’t get me wrong–the plasticity of time is still in evidence. When my daughter had surgery, I sat in that room, and I could almost feel the time weighing on me, pressing me into that awful plastic chair, holding me there until I couldn’t breathe. I’d read for what felt like hours, then look up to see that five minutes had passed. Then, later, after it was done, I was so scared to bring her home, so scared I couldn’t take care of her, and the doctor was cheerfully announcing that she was discharged! I thought, “Already?”
Then there’s the kids themselves. I looked at vacation pictures last night, vacations that are still crystal clear in my memory, and the kids are tiny–I’m holding my daughter on my hip! My son is a gap-toothed little fellow smiling brazenly up at the camera. Now, he’s looking down at me from unbelievable heights and my daughter can just about hold me on her hip. I can remember with such clarity being pregnant–so young and green and scared. So much seems to have happened, but when did it happen? How did it happen?
I have no idea.
There is another big example: this blog. A month has passed since I wrote a word, and that was only shameless promotion of my mediocre jewelry work. But it doesn’t feel like a month. When I looked at that date, I couldn’t believe it. Of course the other tragic event that has already come back around is Christmas, but it gives me a cold chill just to think about that, so we’ll let that one slide for now.
Do all of you feel this way too? Like, how did we get so old? (By not dying, right?) Seriously, I pass a mirror and just about scare myself into a heart attack. Plus, I look old! (Ha ha!) I have been genetically blessed to still not have any gray hair, but the years are showing. I see pictures of my young self, and I look so carefree. And that’s the secret, isn’t it? We know now what we didn’t know then, and it has taken its toll. All of those fears and worries of our parents that we scoffed at are only too real now, hanging on us and weighing us down.
If you aren’t depressed enough yet, here’s another thought for you: “The Dark Side of the Moon” by Pink Floyd came out forty years ago. FORTY YEARS! To some of you this may mean nothing, but some of you just teared up a little. Admit–it’s okay. I won’t think any less of you.
So time is passing, liquid, plastic time, my kids are growing up too fast, and I’m getting too old. The key is not to miss it–hang on to it with both hands, my friends, and never let go. Now excuse me–I’ve got to go check for gray hair.
*******For those of you who will greatly appreciate it, here is the song “Time” by Pink Floyd, one of my favorites, and some of my favorite lyrics. Enjoy!
“And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run; you missed the starting gun…..”