On a recent Saturday morning I had coffee with my girlfriends. We used to be neighbors when our children were small.
As we laughed and caught up on the news, we noticed 3 older women across the way. They were slow-moving, white-haired, and were also doing a lot of laughing.
Nodding toward them, Kathy said, “There we are!”
“Yeah, like in twenty years!” I replied.
Both she and Helen looked at me funny and then proceeded to remind me that those ladies were probably only about ten years older than us.
Momentarily, I was in shock. I couldn’t digest what I knew was true. There’s no way!
I laughed it off.
This led to a conversation about how we used to think our parents were ancient when they were in their fifties and sixties.
Which led me to think of how when I was Alli’s age I thought I was grown. When I was about nineteen, I began to notice the swift passage of time. There was a necessity to have fun and enjoy my youth before it was too late.
My Mom used to sing a line from a Guy Lombardo song (lyrics by Herb Magidson) to me when I was young:
♪ Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think ♫
And my grandmother used to tell me, “The older you get, the faster it goes!”
They were both telling the truth.
Over the summer, Alli brought up this awareness she is feeling. Time is flying and she wants it to slow down. She’s beginning to think more in stages. Within the next ten years she and her friends will possibly be choosing mates, settling down, getting married.
That feeling of urgency, of wanting life to slow down is very much the same for me, but accelerated somewhat. I no longer finish a bad book. Life’s just too short to spend reading something that doesn’t float my boat. I don’t have time for false friends and hateful people in my life. (Thank goodness I don’t have too many of those!) I want to spend more quality time with my loved ones, the people who mean the most to me. And I want to experience everything before it’s too late.
In my wiser age, I’m trying to re-learn the art of doing nothing. It seems to have left me years ago. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I just sat still and did zilch beyond letting my mind wander. It’s hard to balance the urge to do everything, see everything, be everything with doing nothing. I guess that’s why I do not slow down very often.
Every morning I sit in a little kid chair in front of our aquarium to put on my shoes. I’m always in a hurry. Well, the other evening I sat in that little chair and just watched Mr. Pooey, Mr. Whoee and Scary swimming in their waterlogged world. It was so relaxing and freed my mind of all the clutter I had accumulated during the day.
Part 2 of my mission to just do nothing, was hanging out on the deck with Bella Bunny today. I let the sun soak in and I watched the green leaves against the blue sky and the birds flying about until I dozed off. It was healing.
Anna Nalick’s lyrics kept playing over and over in my head:
♪ And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table
No one can find the rewind button girl,
So cradle your head in your hands
And breathe, just breathe ♫
Labor Day was a week ago. Even though we had temps in the nineties last week, this holiday supposedly signals the end of summer.
It’s gone by fast, but I must say, it’s been fun.
I shall leave you with my little ode to summer:
A summer’s night in Tennessee
Crowds cheering at the local ball field
The crack of the ball against the bat
Dogs barking, children laughing
A whippoorwill in tune with a distant train whistle
Lightening bugs blinking in the thick, humid air
The scent of magnolia blossoms and white pine
Mingled with grilled burgers, fried chicken,
And ball park hot dogs.
Enjoy yourself and try to sit and do nothing at least once this week!