Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The only time we have is now

Reading: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
Listening to: "One Born Every Minute" on Really
Outside: Overcast

As my four-month-old sleeps next to me, I feel the weight of things that need to happen. This short pause in the feeding, changing and playing schedule is only just that: a teensy-weensy precious pause. In what might only turn out to be her twenty-minute nap, there are so many things I need to do. So, so many things. Sometimes I feel like poor Giles Corey under all those stones during the Salem Witch Trials. To Do List, I won't give in!!!

Picture from here.

I need to put the laundry away. I need to write a grocery list (I always forget something!). I need to write. I need to finish reading The Casual Vacancy. I need to be a responsible, energetic mom who has all her shit together. I need to figure out how to use our new vacuum cleaner. Then I need to vacuum.

I need to clean the sink, the shower, and the windows, all while maintaining my usual awesomeness.

From here

So why are you writing a blog post? You ask.

Because I found something. I want to show you this. 

There is no cure for ageing
Because ageing isn't an illness, but a way of life.
And some are better at it than others
The secret?
Think yourself younger than you really are:
On a crowded bus or tube, offer your seat to a young man
Design a website, invent an app
Take up Zumba, forget to nap
For no-one can predict what's lying in store
With a future more challenging than ever before.
So enjoy the adventure.

Time flies, they say, but it's us that fly
Time sits on its hands, as we rush by.
And life has a way of gathering speed
So seize the day, we're a special breed.
In the blink of an eye
The wave of a hand
The beat of a heart
The brush of a tear
You are old.
But valued still.
Welcome to the fold.
- Robert McGough

I heard this poem recently on Age UK's new TV ad. It is a beautiful poem as is the ad itself. Here's a link if you're curious.

The reason why I like this poem so much is because it tells us the truth. If we are lucky, we will be old someday. And rather than feeling cheated ("Where has the time gone?"), let's feel good about how we spend our time.

As task-oriented as a lot of us are (me included), it's important to consider what we want to remember about our lives. It's the plain old everyday that moves us later, the days that aren't circled on a calendar: when we smell that cinnamon candle years down the line, or hear a song that takes us back to that teenage drive down a long dirt road, or find our daughter's old baby clothes in a box in the attic when she's twenty-five. Do I want to remember her gentle coos at her mirror's reflection, or am I still thinking about what's next on my To Do list? When was the last time I asked my husband, "How was your day?" Is that coffee stain on the living room carpet really that important - more important than having a good laugh? What do I want to remember about today?

I know I need to vacuum, and write, and clean. But sometimes it's just right to just be.

So today, at least for a few minutes, I hope you give yourself permission to live in the moment, because the only time we have is now.

Happy Wednesday, everybody.

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