I wish I could pinpoint the moment when time made the switch from inching along to practically flying away. If I had to guess, I’d say it was sometime after college. I know this because I remember sitting in classes (even the short ones) and feeling like I was never going to get out of there. I also remember being at my job at a law firm and always being painfully aware of how slowly the minutes were ticking by.
Not that many years later, enter motherhood and a job I love, and somehow time just decides it can hit fast forward and speed away.
From what I’ve read and heard, this is an almost universal experience: the feeling of time moving too quickly when you have a child. “Before you know it, they are grown and leaving home” is a cliche I think I’m supposed to fear. Right now, at least, I view that day with optimism, because it will mean I’ve raised my son to be capable of desiring independence.
Until that day comes, I could really use a pause button.
That’s one of the reasons I thought starting this blog would be useful – I’d pick little snippets out of daily life to examine, share, and remember. Additionally, I take tons of pictures and write down one happy memory at the end of each week. Every morning I am thankful for the day before and set intentions for the day ahead.
All those skills have been useful, but they aren’t the same as a pause button.
If I had a pause button, I could press it right now. I could keep my husband and the baby asleep and write as long as I liked. I could clean the kitchen. I could practice my music. Read my library books. Organize the entryway.
I could press the pause button at the office and work without interruptions. I could press it when I’m with my mom or girlfriends to be able to absorb their company for just a little while longer. I could press “pause” when my little boy is just about to fall asleep on my shoulder and is finally willing to snuggle with his mommy.
However, since this sort of invention is probably unlikely to ever take shape, I’ve got to figure out ways around it. How can I adequately notice and document the joyful moments of each day? How can I get the absolute most out of the time I have, particularly when I’m overwhelmed or unmotivated?
Without a pause button to let me catch up or slow down or take notice, I’ve got to find my own ways to cope with the speediness of time. It’s a challenge I’m lucky to face because not everyone wants to slow down the passage of time. It’s a good situation I find myself in now, one in which I do not wish away the hours, days, weeks. I’d be delighted to never find myself in that situation again. Time is what we’re given and it’s up to us to make it meaningful.