Do you remember back when you were a little girl and time just seemed to creep? I do. I remember when mom used to say we were going to leave in five minutes, and it felt like HOURS before we left. Now I think, "OK, I'll leave in 5 minutes," and twenty minutes later, I glance at my watch thinking I've still got 3 minutes to spare. Why is it that time seems to go so much more quickly now? You always hear that. At least, I always did. I always heard adults say things like "Time flies" or something of the sort, and I never believed it. I have this theory that one of the reasons why the elderly move so slowly is because to them, they feel as though time is moving more quickly, so they're under the impression that they're really trucking. Random meandering of thought.
The reason I ask is this: About 5 minutes ago, I moved to Arlington, VA from Olathe, KS. Of course, it's actually been a whole year, but it feels like it's been 5 minutes. My sister's been married for a year. My car was totaled a year ago. I lost my karate academy a year ago... It just doesn't seem like it's been that long, but it has. On the other hand, if this last year has gone so quickly, then the next one will probably go even faster. A year from now, I'll be moving back to the Midwest. A year from now, I'll be getting back into the dojo. A year from now, my new car will be paid off... Ah, the things that can happen in a year.
I guess the thing is that it's so easy to not live in this moment. It's so easy to define yourself the way you always have. It's so easy to look forward to something so much that you miss all the moments until you get to that point, and then that thing goes screaming by... I like the way Professor Harold Hill puts it in the Music Man. He says, "Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays." Of course, then there are also the people who do the opposite, the people who live in the past. There's a poem on the wall in my dear friend Terry's house that talks about this very thing.
I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was Speaking:
“My name is I am”
“When you live in the past with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard.
I am not there. My name is not I was.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard.
I am not there. My name is not I will be.
When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I am.”
I think that maybe the reason time goes so slowly when we're children is that we haven't developed a past in which to live, and we haven't yet been taught to be anxious over the future. If we could un-learn these two time-thieves, I think we could slow down and live more fully in the present. I like the two following quotations... now I just have to learn to live them.
Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return. ~Mary Jean Iron
It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. ~Margaret Bonnano