When I was young it seemed as though time walked at a slower pace. In fact I had been known on more than one occasion to get behind time with a broom and try to hurry it along, sweeping in desperation and angst. I couldn’t get to a certain age fast enough or I couldn’t get through a difficulty or challenge fast enough or the goal or special something I was looking forward to just could not get there fast enough.
Fast forward to middle age. Time began to seem like I was riding on a train watching the events go by outside my window slow enough to be seen but fast enough that at times I seem to miss some of the scenery. I began at times to search inside my head for memories that were not sticking because time was moving faster than before. Then I noticed that every time I turned around, my children were becoming women and preparing to go out and begin lives of their own on their own.
Fast forward and my children are having children who are growing at a faster rate than mine did,. And the mate I though would grow old with me is given a death sentence by an oncologist. What? No! This isn’t happening to me. Time finally got me to an age where we finally had a little more money and more time to enjoy our “Golden” years. This cannot be. At first I wanted to grab the hem of time and slow it down again so that I could have more time with my husband but as his pain worsened and every organ in his body was dying for lack of oxygen I wanted time to be merciful and pass a little more quickly for his sake and not mine.
Time stopped for a while after that. I was not the “me” with whom I was familiar. I was dead inside. Yet, there was a spark that would not let me give up. One day time started back up, slowly at first, until I had begun to see that I had redefined myself. I had become a familiar being to myself yet different than before. Once again time was going at a nice pace that I was nether hurrying along nor trying to slow down. I started building a new life and open to dating again which seemed to throw me happily back to my teenage years. I thought for a while I had pushed time back, was reborn into my teens (in my head) and started finally seeing a second chance for a whole new squeal to my first book of life. The second book would contain some of the same people and things and yet many, many more different characters added, new places to live, new life style, new way of looking at things. This was not to say it was all peaches and cream. I had to learn about managing money and a whole lot of things that I never had to mange before. Some things I did not know how to do or who to talk to or who to hire to do things I could not do. Time for me was exciting, scary, tearful, joyful, and challenging. Sometimes time flew, sometimes it stalled in the air, sometimes it crawled and sometimes it enjoyed tangling me up it its web.
Fast forward to now. Has time been good to me? Yes. Has time been painful sometimes? Yes. What is time doing now? Time is going faster and faster now. I look down at my hands and my arms and I see the container in which I have lived these many years is shriveling up. Mother nature knows I am way past child bearing so has called back the estrogen that kept my skin a little more moist, my hair thicker, the wrinkles at bay, and muscle tone with ability to hold things where they belong instead of sagging or dropping south so I shrivel with every day that passes. Though I have a lot to be thankful for including activities if I feel up to them; people who love me and whom I love; enough money right now to sustain me; a roof over my head; a wonderful little dog; traveling planned; and a nice place to live, I find that time is slipping away. People whom I have known all my life, famous people who lived in my life time so far, and all that composed my life all my life are dying or dead. I am feeling more like I am becoming the last leaf on the tree. My whole life now is geared towards its end. Time is still there but even if I live twenty more years, those twenty will gather momentum and pass with the speed of light. So I am in my final times of my life and the next big transition will be my final one. At times I start to grieve my own demise like I grieved the loss of my first and second husbands and my boyfriend who also died long before the transitions were made. It is a preparation that cannot be avoided.
Through every state of my life thus far, time has been on my side whether it went quickly or slowly I know that time is always now. It is only fast or slow in my head. Looking back I can see more clearly now and know that I can love every bit of life – the good, the bad, the ugly of it all. I know I will continue to do so as I come to terms with growing older and beginning to transition from a life looking forward to life loosing its meaning and hold upon me. I am starting to embrace the body changes more and resist them less, to love what is. I’m not alone in this transitional time of life. I may be more aware or willing to talk about it than some are and I know the key to love what is at all stages of life. The “what is” are things we cannot change. The things we can change, we should of course.
It has been said that growing old is not for sissies. Life is not for sissies either but it is a most fantastic and deliriously, ever-changing whirlwind of being whose form we must embrace at all times or suffer through a resistance that is futile. I have not choice but to love it what is and to grow old with it.