Time is a funny thing. It has a split personality. On the one hand, it can zoom by so that years seem like minutes, and on the other hand, it can drag on, seemingly turning minutes into hours and days.
How often, as children did we all bemoan the slowness of time? "I can't wait to be all grown-up!" or "I don't think my next birthday will ever come around." Suddenly, all that is behind us, and those slow-dragging days and years have turned into entire decades past.
By this habit, we end up wishing our lives away. As young parents, "I can't wait until the baby is walking." then, "I can't wait until the baby is talking." A few milliseconds later, we have teenagers whom we wish would just shut up!
"Teens are such a pain with all their drama! I can't wait till my kids are grown!" we cry. Two minutes later, we are mopping our eyes at their wedding and wondering where all those years went.
We mourn, yet survive the deaths of our parents, a few friends, and assorted maladies and misfortunes. It is all part of living. As we grow older, though, our thoughts start to turn toward our own mortality, and perhaps our "bucket list" of things we wish to accomplish before our turn on the planet is up.
It is now that we yearn for the slowly-passing time of childhhod, when every moment, every adventure was relished to the fullest; when the agonizing anticipation of a vacation or special treat seemed to go on for years. But alas, time does not march to our drummer..it simply marches on.
And so, on the eve of our 11th anniversary, my thoughts turn to this pensive mood, as I savor the years I've had with my soulmate, and look forward to many more. At the same time I must realize that we met later in life, and the slow days and years are forever behind us: all we can do is savor the present, and focus on the happy times. One day at a time.
This I know, however: I will never be one of those old folks who mark their days by first reading the obituary column to discover if the names of anyone they knew appear therein. That is too depressing: it runs counter to staying happy. If you knew the party who passed on, word will get to you, there's no point in wallowing in sad news. People will pass--that's the one sure thing in life--you don't get out of it alive.