It’s official. My baby is going to be 5 this weekend. How did this happen? Where did the time go? Its seems like only a blink ago, I was in the hospital, watching the Oscars, waiting to meet my first bundle of little boy, wondering if he would be a Leap Day baby, or a 1st of the month baby (the latter won out).
2004… 5 whole years ago. Sometimes I really have to think hard about what year it is, and I second guess myself that it’s really 2009 already. I seem to be moving through time at a different speed than reality. Do you know I actually wrote a check the other day, and dated it 2006? 2006!?!?! THREEwhole years ago, people! Sometimes I can’t believe how old I am, and that we’re already almost a decade into the 21st century. Maybe it’s a sign that my memory is really starting to go. You know how alzheimer’s sufferers can remember vividly events from 50 years ago, but can’t recall what they had for breakfast? That’s me. It’s happening already! Okay, so maybe it’s not alzheimer’s, but I definitely have noticed a marked decline in brain activity…. but I’m getting off topic.
Anyway, why is it time moves faster as we get older? And yet, why do we constantly wish time away? Example: “I can’t wait until this weekend”…. “I just wish spring would get here”, “Just get me through the baby phase!” I find myself having to consciously remind myself to enjoy each and every moment, right now, in present time, and stop looking forward to all of the perceived enjoyment that’s still to come. After all, the future will always be the future, and the present will always be the present, so if one keeps looking to the future for happiness, wouldn’t it be fair to say you’ll never actually achieve it?
And is living more in the present the secret to slowing time down? I don’t know, but it couldn’t hurt. If nothing else, I think it fosters a more positive attitude in general. With the day to day hustle & bustle and worrying about what needs to get done next, it’s somehow calming for me to view this present time as a past dream fulfilled: having a home in a nice neighborhood, a doting husband, and lots of little feet running amuck. It makes those crazy days of temper tantrums, toy cyclones, laundry piles large enough to fill a landfill more manageable.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s important to have future goals and hopes and dreams…. it’s what drives us to do better every day. But I think it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of discontent with where we’re at, in an effort to get to where we’re going. Having kids had been a good reminder for me to slow down- they grow so fast, I can’t help but notice how quickly we’re moving through linear space. After all, we take the canoe trip to enjoy the ride down the river, not just the destination.
So, yes, this weekend will be filled with much activity and preparations for a special little boy’s big day. But I will also be trying to take it all in and appreciate every moment, even the meltdowns (is that even possible?), should they happen, in an effort to slow the passage of time. While Max is enjoying his presents, I will be enjoying my “present”. I will enjoy the canoe ride.
I wanted to end with a significant quote, but there are so many. Here are some that spoke to me:
Forever is composed of nows. ~Emily Dickinson
It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis. ~Margaret Bonnano
We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is. ~Alan Watts
Seize from every moment its unique novelty, and do not prepare your joys. ~André Gide, Nourritures Terrestres
When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author Unknown
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. ~Abraham Maslow
Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized. ~Leo Buscaglia
We steal if we touch tomorrow. It is God’s. ~Henry Ward Beecher
God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road. ~Isak Dinesen
Enjoy your canoe ride!