Just watched a "Sunday Morning" feature on the anniversary of two political and cultural events: the massacre at Tienanmen Square, June 3, 1989 and the debut of the Seinfeld Show, May 31,1990.
What strikes me about these two wildly divergent items is the passage of time. Where has it gone? How did twenty years of my life disappear "in a blink", the Anthony Hopkins line from "Meet Joe Black"?
Kids. I've been raising kids for the past twenty two years. That's where it went. Or is it?
My husband and I continually marvel at the time lapse between what we remember and when it occurred. Often when a little piece of history comes up, we cannot believe it is ten, twenty or thirty years past. Attending my 40th high school reunion last year was a reality check. Actually, it was more of a bitch slap. With apologies to Oliver Hazard Perry and Walt Kelly, "I have met the aging Boomers and they are me." The deaths of family and friends brings me up short. It's all so fleeting. Yet I take so much for granted.
As a caustic individual who sees irony in all things, I love to say, "Kids suck the life out of you and then they leave." While they're doing that, you're trying to live your life and theirs. It doesn't leave time for much else. Since the boys have moved out, I find myself able to concentrate on other things: politics, writing, blogging, reading, volunteer work. If I didn't work full time I just imagine what I could do! However, that will come.
This contemplation of the last twenty years makes me somewhat sad. I feel as though I've missed something or stopped paying attention. It's bittersweet. After all, I had my children and they are wonderful. I miss my children's childhood. I was present but was I as engaged as I could have been? There's a part of me that feels I should have taken life slower, paid more attention, taken work less seriously, enjoyed child rearing more, savored the moments.
Yes, all the sugary sentiments do make sense. "Take time to smell the roses" or they'll be will indeed be "...gone in a blink."