Where does a year go?
I remember being young(er) and in complete disbelief when old(er) folks would say time goes by more quickly the older you become. It seemed like a totally ridiculous concept when you’re twelve years old and church camp is still one whole month away and you’re just positive that it will never, ever get here. I know I’m not the only one with this memory but that still doesn’t make it any less unbelievable that they were, in fact, correct.
At Kelly’s baby shower this past May, her mother (Joan Mills) shared some memories and wishes for the mommy-to-be and her baby. One line in particular stuck out to me and I find myself saying it often. To paraphrase, “The days are long, but the years are short.” How true this is. Unending Mondays, stressful work projects, day-to-day responsibilities, house chores. . . we go to bed exhausted, worn out from a laundry list of obligations and duties, kissing the sheets and thankful another day is over. And then we wake up and six months have gone by and the only thing we can say for certain is our kitchen floors are swept and we’ve caught up on all the episodes of Mad Men.
I know she was referring to mothers and their children; encouraging moms to make more time for their young ones and make less time for the laundry and the bread crumbs. But there’s definitely a message in there that can apply to everyone. What are we making time for?
I made a (fairly) ambitious list of things I would like to accomplish during the year leading up to my thirtieth birthday and upon review, was sad to realize I had only finished less than half. I thought back on the past 365 days, wondering where the time went and what I spent my days doing. The obvious answers? Working. Sleeping. The necessary house chores. Social obligations. The cringe-worthy answers? Sleeping too much. Spending too much time on Facebook. Spending too much time in front of the TV. Calling social obligations… “obligations”.
Yes, I’ll be the first to admit I spend way, way too much time with the DVR. I record everything and, in turn, watch everything. I stalk Facebook like John Hinckley Jr. stalked Jodie Foster. I like my alone time and I give myself more “me-time” than is really necessary. I’ve mastered the craft of procrastination and would just as soon sleep those extra fifteen minutes than get up and water the flowers so I don’t have to worry about it after work. And I like to clean. I’ve declined invitations out in order to clean. And to what end? When I’m eighty-two and looking back on life I don’t want my fondest memories to be a television series I really enjoyed or the Saturday mornings I spent sleeping in.
Do I write this to inspire and move you? No. I mostly write it so you will feel some amount of pity and not judge me too harshly for this incomplete list. 😉
1. Read the Bible, cover to cover. X
2. Get inked. CHECK
3. Get pink highlights. CHECK
4. Learn to juggle. X
5. Write a book. CHECK?
6. Run a 5k. CHECK?
7. Visit a children’s hospital dressed as a Disney character. X
8. Watch all the Godfather movies. X
9. Join a book club. X
10. Take a gun safety course. X
11. Memorize 30 Bible verses. CHECK
12. Buy a house. CHECK
13. Go on a cruise. CHECK?
14. Learn to change the oil in my car. X
15. Put all my travel pictures into albums. X?
16. And speaking of travel, I’d like to put another stamp on the ‘ol passport. CHECK
17. Volunteer at the animal shelter. CHECK?
18. Learn French. X
19. Stop biting my nails. CHECK
20. Learn CPR. X
21. Read 15 of the “Greatest 100 Novels of all Times”. CHECK
22. Learn to knit. X
23. Take a cooking class. X
24. And speaking of cooking, I want to learn to make Grandma Kauffman’s potato salad, Mom-Mom Scott’s ham gravy, and mom’s chocolate icing. X
25. Blog daily. HAHAHAHAHA….X
26. Learn to can jam. X
27. And keeping with the 30 theme, I’ll plant 30 trees this year. CHECK
28. Send a message in a bottle. X
29. Do 30 random acts of kindness in a day. CHECK?
30. Learn sign language. X
I hope to go into more detail about a few of these, but that’ll take a separate post entirely.
And so… I’ve decided to draft up a new set of goals for my first year as a “woman in her 30’s.” The top of the list will definitely be to cut out unnecessary and excessive time spent on social media and Saturday afternoon naps; rather, to spend more time connecting with people, writing, enjoying a sunset or the beauty of a runners-high. And to cherish and treasure the long days… because another year will be gone before I know it.