Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Passage of Time

I've been thinking about "time" lately. A speaker at my church began his talk (sermon) with the following statistics: the average American will spend 9 years of their life watching TV, 1 year cleaning, and 4 years driving. 70% of our life is spent in front of multi-media. In addition, women spend 8 years shopping and nearly 1 year deciding what to wear.

Wow, time adds up quickly, especially when you consider we sleep for 25 years over a lifetime. Just with those statistics, the remaining time is limited and precious. And I didn't even look up the statistic for time spent working at a job!

Lately, the seasons seem to change more quickly. Autumn appeared overnight, with a blushing tree and a sudden drop in temperature. One night this week I awoke shivering, and was actually surprised! I tiptoed upstairs in the dark, dug out the heavy blankets, and tucked one over each sleeping child. The cold came so quickly, I was unprepared...almost accosted by it.  On Monday, frost painted my car windows. I scraped hurriedly, sending puffs of white crystals into the dark morning air. Madi was late to early morning seminary.

In an effort to preserve (or cling!) to the season, I scramble to fit in the autumn traditions. Pumpkin and apple picking. Cookie baking. Caramel apples. Autumn runs. Halloween decorating.

But it's more than just the seasons. Yesterday, I waited with Madi in the doctor's office so she could get some blood tests done (nothing serious, just testing for iron levels). She was brave - even when her vein collapsed and they had to do a second needle in the same arm! I found myself thinking about the first doctor appointment I took her to...fifteen years ago. She was two weeks old and had to get some shots. She cried, of course, and so did I. I remember after the shots were finished and Madi and I were still crying, the kind nurse said, "Take your time here in the room." And so I did. I rocked her until she stopped crying and had fallen asleep in my arms.

Was that really 15 years ago? How could time have moved along so fast? How is this sweet first baby of mine get so tall (5' 6") and grown up? When did she become tough and brave?

On my best days, I'm aware of the passage of time and try to drink in the present. I hold Charlotte in a tight hug a little longer, I make dinner with a little more care and gratitude, and I actually listen as my children tell me about their day. I champion family walks, I walk my daughter to the bus stop, and say yes to the request for "one more chapter, please!"

I pause.

I get two more autumns with Madi before she goes to college. Pause. I try not to cry, try not to curse the quick passage of time, try not to feel too much guilt about the years that unconsciously seemed to slip by.

Instead, today, I will try to pause.