Time blurs. That’s just a fact these days. Did it blur when I was younger? I don’t think so. I remember when I first started my career in journalism, there was this quaint idea that the first five years were an apprenticeship. You weren’t a full-fledged journalist. You were a journeyman. Boy … did those five years drag. They lasted for at least 15, 20 years. Or felt that way. When I passed the five-year mark, I was so proud of myself. I was a full-fledged professional.
Little did I know back then that all careers are a journey, and no one ever reaches that “full-fledged professional” status. If you think you did, and brag about it, you are probably either narcissistic or egomaniacal. Or both.
But back to the notion of “time blurs” or, if you prefer, “time flies.” My husband and I last weekend made the six-hour drive to Washington, D.C., where all four of my surviving siblings live. I saw two of the four this past May when they drove to Cleveland for my son’s graduation from Cleveland State University. But I hadn’t seen the other two for more than two years. Two. Years.
The sister closest to me in age pointed that fact out in a text I received while we were on the road. “Can you believe that we haven’t seen each other in person since July 2019?” No. I really can’t believe that. We talk almost daily and Zoomed countless times in the last year. Yes, time had flown by me.
There was an added element to the joyful reunion — really the reason we hopped into the car on a moment’s notice. My nephew and his wife were flying in from Krakow, Poland, with their two young children, 3-year-old Teddy and 6-year-old Sophie. I last saw Teddy as a 10-month-old baby, and Sophie as a shy toddler who spent more time behind her mother’s knees than playing with all the new toys at her disposal.
I missed them all. Deeply. But it didn’t feel like nearly four years since I’d seen their sweet faces. It felt like yesterday. Just like it felt like the day before yesterday that I saw my sister. And just a spec of time since I got married, despite the indisputable fact that 32 years (as of last week) have passed.
It’s true. The older you get, the faster the clock hands rotate. Damn, those things are spinning out of control these days. Positively blurring.
I remember hating my mom saying she couldn’t believe how old she was, how much her age surprised her and oh, by the way, her wrinkles annoyed her because they weren’t “her.” I see what she means now.
So, grab those clock hands and stop them for just a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths. Then resume the race with clearer eyes.
Maudlin? Maybe. But it’s how these days of turmoil make me feel. Enjoy the moments. Savor the good and throw away the negative.
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