This last week felt excruciatingly slow. Which seems impossible since every day life was moving at a frantic pace from sunrise to sunset. In the midst of the madness, I’ve had moments of pure joy and profound grief.
On one day, I watched my daughter’s face light up the as she discovered she got the part she wanted so badly in an upcoming musical. On another day, I observed the funeral of a writer I greatly admired who died way too young at 37. The unrelenting tempo of the week coupled with those moments of joy and sadness really punctuated a universal truth that lately I’ve tried, and failed, to ignore: I am running out of time.
Indeed, aren’t we all? When we are young, we don’t notice so much. Ten years down the road seems like an eternity, and there’s always time to make a radical change of course or take a risk.
But then you wake up one day and realize 1994 was not just a few years ago — in fact it was 25 years ago, and what in the wide world do I have to show for it besides a few extra pounds and perimenopausal rage?
Well, obviously a little more than that, but surely you’ve had those moments too, right? Moments where you wonder if you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, should you change direction now or stay the course? I would not suggest reading Ecclesiastes during these moments because (spoiler alert) the writer says it’s all meaningless. “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless!”
Maybe it’s because high school starts in a few minutes and she looks like an adult already, but it feels like we are running out of time. I try hard not to pass this ecclesiastical/existential anxiety on to my child, but I have been reminding her a ton lately that she should enjoy every moment and take every opportunity that comes her way.
Annie is much braver than I ever was at her age and my hope for her future is that she is bold and kind. And that she realizes there is opportunity to do good regardless of the specific path her life takes.
Turns out those words are as much for me as they are for her. Which is good because she’s probably not listening anyway. Did any of us ever listen to our mothers as they bestowed their hard-earned wisdom which likely stemmed from a mid-life crisis?
So, while I might be running out of time to do some of the things I dreamed of when I was 14 or 23 or even 37, I still have plenty of time and opportunity to do good.
As do we all.