Time is slipping through my fingers like a fragile gold chain. My days fly by and I don’t even realize it. All of a sudden it’s 5 o’clock and what have I even done since the morning? All of a sudden it’s two years later and the nine-pound newborn we brought home on Christmas Eve is tearing open presents on Christmas morning and saying “open it.” I can’t remember where the hours went. I can’t remember what happened last week or the details of that trip last year.
Life is so much in the present moment that the memory of the previous moments becomes all too quickly an incoherent blur, where certain pieces stick out and other pieces just melt into the past. A puddle of pastimes where the more pronounced events or details create a reflection, while the rest are just drops in a puddle of memory.
Time has its own schedule, it has a way of dragging its feet one minute and zipping past the next minute. There are sayings and songs about stopping and smelling the roses, about seizing the day, about not blinking or you will miss your life, about your kids growing up too fast, about missing what is gone and wanting that time back, and all of it is true I am sure. There are certain days where I am spending more time looking back than looking forward and other days where I’m pondering a future that may be twenty years down the road.
But what I have really tried to do in the last few months and what I resolve to continue to try to do is just be present in the moment I’m in. To try to be more focused on single tasks and less distracted, less oblivious to the small details, to realize more fully what is happening RIGHT NOW. This is, of course, a really simple concept that is pounded into us all the time but it’s something I am really trying to embrace. Here are some ways I have been trying to deliberately focus on the moment:
- Capturing that toddler smile or that three-year-old sentence in my memory.
- Laughing and singing with my daughters just for the fun of it.
- Trying to say morning and night prayers every day.
- Getting everyone dressed and fixing their hair in the morning so we are not in pajamas all day.
- Having dinner started and the house straightened when Daddy comes home at night.
- Really listening when others talk and trying to compliment and connect with those I encounter.
- Making a mental list of all the odds and ends that made up the day so that I have a sense of accomplishment when I close my eyes at night.
- And just trying to LIVE in a FOCUSED way.
As much as I would like to remember every detail of a day or always live in a certain season of life, time will continue to run its course, minute by minute, hour by hour and it cannot be stopped. So all I can do is enjoy what I have and not panic when it passes by, but just turn to face the next moment, the next event, the next milestone, because it is coming, right after the previous one. Like a line of ships sailing towards each of us out of the mist and then back into the mist, the moments glide past, making room for the next set of moments on the horizon. We can either close our eyes and sleep through the moments or face them head on, whether they be the stormiest or the calmest of days.