A blessing and a curse.
Inspired by the words of a friend, after a recent loss, I began to think about the passage of time, in particular my own.
The blessing of wisdom
I would tell my daughter, who is now 32, what good is all this wisdom I have, if I cannot impart it to you?
Wisdom is not given. Advice is given, but wisdom is earned. Every time I talk to my daughter I see the wisdom she is gaining. She is a remarkable young woman.
The curse of wisdom
Not knowing then what I know now! Would I go back and do it over? No. To do so would deny me the pleasure of what I have in this moment, which I am pretty damn happy with.
The blessing of grown children
I don’t worry as much about my kiddos. No need to really. All three of them are healthy, self-sufficient and raising their own pretty extraordinary children. I can relax in the knowledge that they will do well, that I live on in them.
The curse of grown children
They need me, but in a different way. The last one left the nest over a decade ago and I still have phases where it’s hard to let go. While sad, I was also happy when they were out of the house. My freedom to be had after many years of kissing boo-boos, laying down the law, encouraging them to explore the world, the time spent sitting at band concerts, ball-games, and helping them through heartaches. I had the time to figure me out, without them.
After being together I watch them leave with their own families and I want to grab them, hold them, and I wish for just a split second they were little again.
The blessing of my relationship with Steve
There is an ease with which I move with Steve. I don’t need him to complete me, I am my own person with and without him. What in the past seemed big relationship issues, are now just nuisances, I swat away as I would a fly. Time is better spent enjoying the time we have now. We just be.
The curse of my relationship with Steve
He is almost 14 years old than me. I brace myself for his death, which statistically speaking will come before mine. However, longevity is on our side, as his dad is 91, and many members of his family lived into their late 80’s and early 90’s. Still, it’s a reality I may have to face. I embrace the mindset that regardless of how much time we are together, it will have been a most excellent adventure.
I feel an urgency, to do what I am not sure. Get in every possible moment I can? I sometimes grief the moments lost, the moments I just fucking wasted, the moments I spent in someone else’s idea of me, the moments I spent wishing I was elsewhere – now wishing I could be back there – the moments I spent doing things I didn’t want, the moments where I was indecisive, the moments when I knew full well I should zig, but instead I zagged.
But at the same time I feel the need to slow down. Living in the moment has been difficult for me, and a skill just recently learned. When we are young, Christmas, summer vacation, and birthday’s take forever! Today, they seem to be there every time I turn around.
As I age the effects of junk food and too much wine are rather quickly much more noticeable. I now pay for the hours spent at the lake slathered in baby oil and iodine. I’ve moved to more natural, healthy, and friendly products for my skin, face, and hair. The food is still a work in progress – but no more Doritos and Coke for breakfast – a staple in my 30s.
I lament, at times, the energy wasted and friendships lost on what I perceived to be slights against me. As the song by Dawes says, “things happen, that’s all they ever do.” This I remember when my righteous indignation starts to rise up inside me.
Shit doesn’t matter. This “I don’t’ care,” attitude comes from age, the other from the wisdom I’ve gained over the last five years, and choosing not to participate in the time-wasting, soul sucking drama created by others.
I am beyond thankful
Every day I watch my face slowly inch downward. I look in the mirror and I see the face of my mother and I am not sure how I feel about that. My wrinkles appear at a faster pace now. No, I don’t think of them as lines earned. But they are what they are. I would rather spend my time and money on experiences, not on the inevitable and uncontrollable signs of time passing.
I feel the ache of my ankles first thing in the morning. I grow frustrated that I have to grab my glasses to read labels. I look at food and I gain five pounds. I am more forgetful.
I laugh more – a sometimes loud, dorky laugh that I no longer am willing to hold back.
I feel such deep love for my grandkids. They are being raised by wonderful parents, who are doing a hell of a better job than I did.
My thoughts are more cohesive and productive. I can swiftly sift out the garbage and leave only that which doesn’t waste my precious time.
I am deeply content with the smallest of joys. Ones in the past that would go unnoticed. They are too numerous to name.
I’m learning to make peace with the passage of time. There is really nothing else one can do. Our days will go by. How we spend them is up to us.