Something happened to me last year that has set in motion a deep thought process the likes of which I’ve never seen.
I turned 55.
There is something about that number that has me thinking about time. All of a sudden, the time I have left on the planet has become finite. What’s more, since my husband is 13 years older than I, his time is even more finite. Let me go on the record as saying that I do not like this feeling. Not one little bit.
Yes, yes I know that no one is promised tomorrow and that anything can happen to anyone but I’m talking about that feeling of, “I have plenty of time to do that!” All of a sudden I started to think, “Ooops…maybe I DON’T have plenty of time to do that.” Of course there is nothing in particular I want to do that I all of a sudden can’t do. It’s more the feeling that time is running out, that it’s no longer on my side.
I think about when I was a kid and time had a way of standing still. Christmas would NEVER come. I would NEVER graduate and get the hell out of school. That guy would NEVER ask me out and then once he did, the day would NEVER come.
As I got older it began to speed up, but only a little. It wasn’t until I had kids that time took on lightening speed and after I turned 50 that Mr. Sulu took me to warp drive. Now I blink and five years has sped by and I’m left thinking, “Wait. What just happened? I want a do over.”
I feel this urgency to get things done before that last grain of sand runs through my hour-glass (those are the Days of our Lives…sorry…couldn’t resist). I want to get a post-graduate degree. I want to write a memoir (doesn’t everyone). I want to learn Spanish. I want to travel to Europe and Alaska and Asia. I want to be at the beach more. I want to get and stay healthier each year so I have a better chance of extending my time. I want to spend every waking moment possible with my kids and their kids so I’m ingrained in their memories (I know that’s morbid but isn’t that what I’m talking about here?)
I know I’ll do at least some of the above before I go anywhere, it’s the urgency that has me anxious. It’s like Father Time is breathing down my neck more and more often these days. (And yes I know that Father Time is a man…how else do you explain why women get old and men get distinguished? Just sayin’.) I wish that old fart would get off my back and go bother someone else. Someone in their 90’s…just not Betty White or George and Barbara Bush okay?
Of course when I’m in my 90’s I’ll be requesting he vacate the premises and go bother some Tibetan monk who’s 110. Old is always 20 years older than you are at any given time amiright?
For now I’ll just have to learn to sit with these feelings, maybe ask them in to tea. We can sit together and get comfortable and maybe move toward acceptance of the fact that time does, in fact, move on and we move with it.
But I don’t have to like it.