I can’t believe it’s Labor Day already! This summer flew by didn’t it? When the mums arrived at the A&P a few weeks ago, I thought, too soon. Summer has just begun.
The older I get, the more time plays tricks on me. It’s like I’m livin’ in a time warp, you know, some crap episode of Star Trek, where time slows down when I wish it’d go faster, and speeds up when I want to linger. Here’s what I mean:
I’m getting my teeth cleaned, right? And the hygienist is doing that part where they poke around at your gums. I’m staring into the light just past her head, trying to go to my happy place. Instead, I’m sucked into a this slow as molasses, grandfather clock, tick-tock, pick-poke, my God, is she ever gonna finish zone.
Or, I’m getting ready to go away for the weekend with Charlie. We’re gonna leave Friday, right after work. The big day arrives. I’ve set aside some time before my shift down to the A&P to pack. Well, things start off normal enough, but then the situation gets wonky. Every time I glance at the clock, it’s five, ten, fifteen minutes later than I think it should be. The closer it gets to when I have to leave, the quicker time’s flying’ by. Finally, I reach the tipping point where I know there’s no way I’m gonna get it all done before I have to go to work. Which means a time crunch later, throwing my clothes and stuff all willy-nilly into my suitcase, then rushing around the house, pulling things together while Charlie waits in the car with the engine running!
I don’t remember time ever bein’ like this in my twenties or thirties. Even forties. When I was a kid, sure. Time would speed up when I was playing, or right before I had to go to bed, then slow down again when I was sitting in school waiting for the bell to ring. Or I’d be squirming in the pew at church wondering if we were getting close to communion, because that meant mass was almost over.
But this speeding up and slowing down of time in my youth was a gentler, more reliable thing, almost like breathing. Expanding and contracting, expanding and contracting.
Now, time feels more like a slinky, unpredictable and undependable. One minute, I have a hold of it. The next, time’s tumbling down the stairs, end over end, picking up speed, then slamming to a full stop at the bottom.
It’s that full stop that’s become more alluring the older I get. I can’t control the time warp, but I can accept and savor the pause: a nap, a cup of tea with the latest issue of the Oprah magazine. Taking a minute to scratch Scamp’s belly or kiss the top of Charlie’s head. The full stop is a gift. I’m not cursing time for going too fast, or wishing it away because it’s going so slow. I’m here lingering in the pause, for as long as it lasts.
Take time to pause this Labor Day. Think about what a wonderful summer we had, and what a glorious fall we have to look forward to.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!
Coming Up This Week
September 8: A Visit With Ida, Active, Alive and Over 55 Club Luncheon, 1:00pm, Rye, NH
Upcoming Book Events and Performances
September 19: A Visit With Ida, Westbrook Seniors at Westbrook Community Center, 1:00pm, Westbrook, ME
September 23 & 24: The View From He’ah Variety Show with special guest international storyteller Antonio Rocha, http://actonenh.org/ Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday 2:00 & 7:30pm, Portsmouth, NH
October 11: A Visit With Ida, GFWC Maine State Conference, 7:00pm, Auburn, ME
October 25: Book Reading: The Sweet Life, Bailey Public Library, http://www.baileylibrary.org/ 6:30pm, Winthrop, ME