This morning my son Jett (he’s 6-and-three-quarters – his words) asked me if time could speed up. More specifically, he asked if I had to the power to speed up time. I groaned, not just because I was trying to get his foot in his boot (why do feet never go into boots in the morning before school?!), but because the question gave me actual pain in my chest.
“Nope, I can’t speed up time. And I don’t want to. It goes too fast as it is.” I told him.
“I just want school to be over so I can come home and finish building my Lego project!” he whined.
Can you remember when you wanted to rush through your day so you could get home to work on something that you loved doing? I can. Like, almost every day. For Jett, his days are filled with school. And even though I know he has fun there, there is a place where he can be having more fun. Choosing to do things he wants to do. To do things he loves with a passion so strong, he wants to actually speed up time.
What is your relationship with time? For me, it’s a real mother-fucker of a relationship.
1) I mostly feel like there isn’t enough of it. I want more time to a) be with the kids and do ‘family things’ (b) exercise for at least an hour at a time (c) sleep uninterrupted for more than 1 hour (d) read (e) write uninterrupted for more than twenty minutes (f) listen to NPR shows like Fresh Air, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, The Moth Story Hour, Studio Q and Tell Me More.
2) I know that time will never stop so long as we as we continue to measure it. Having said that, I wish I more able to be in the moments and not think about what I’m not doing while I’m doing what I’m doing. Trust me – I’m really working on this one. Last year I let this part of my relationship with time give me lots of grief. I don’t want it to be that way anymore. But it’s a habit I need to break. For example: right now was I’m writing, my ‘mom’ voice in my head is whispering –you shouldn’t be writing, you should be in the living room with your kids. You’re a bad mother. I’m ignoring her. Writing this makes me feel good – and therefore, be a better mother when I am hanging with the kids.
3) I lost both of my grandfathers in 2012 within a 6-month span. Mortality slapped me up and down and all around. I am very aware that although time itself won’t end, MY time as a human being on this earth will, in fact, end. And that messes up my shit in a very serious way. While I cannot imagine living forever, I’m not ready to accept that, at some point, I will cease to exist.
4) I’m constantly weighing and balancing, pro and conning, comparing and scheduling everything in my head – ALL. THE. TIME. So basically, it’s difficult to feel…well, quiet and rested because my brain is always going. This mightily affects #2. I am doing my best to train my mind to be here and alive in this moment. And to not compare or second-guess my instinctual needs and wants. I both want and need to be writing this right now – therefore, I am writing this. The need to write has won the battle over all the other things I need to do (dishes, be with kids, prep dinner, call that girl I was supposed to call, answer emails, etc.). And I want to write because I know it will make me feel better.
I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t thinking about time. And that’s why it’s difficult to break the habit of giving it so much power in my life. Plus, I want to teach my kids to be in the moment – and if I can’t do it and model how for them…well, they’re gonna be rushing, exhausted, half-livers (not the organ). And I totally do not want them to be this way.
That’s it. That’s all the time I’ve giving to this piece.
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