I looked at the calendar and was astounded to find that the past week had flown right by.  The lines I had put through the days previous to their passing jumped out at me and I smiled guiltily to myself.  My husband hates when people cross off the days.  I don’t really know why.  I have always done it so that I can see the date at a glance.  As it goes, though, I sometimes forget to mark off the dates, so after returning from a weekend getaway, my pen got a little happy and marked days that had not yet passed. 

Oops, I thought, to myself.  Hope that isn’t bad luck, as I had once heard. 

And as fast as that thought entered my mind, it passed.  I didn’t have time to think about it. 

Today is Friday and the calendar still shows three days that need to pass in order to catch up to my markings, but I am amazed at how quickly the past few days have gone by.  And then it hits me, maybe that is what happens when you mark the day off before it happens, time hurries to catch up.  

There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in my days anymore.  The house is never clean (enough), and I have too many projects to complete.  When nighttime comes, I panic at the thought that I will not get enough sleep.  And I question my bedtime – should I be going to bed earlier? 

I told my younger brother that I didn’t have enough hours in my day.  He said that was great because it meant I was really enjoying my life.  I liked that concept, but then quickly I turned it into a chore.  Like all the things I enjoy doing became things on a “TO DO” list.  And I started checking them off and hurrying to complete them.  I’ve been rushing through it all – once again.  It is amazing to me how I can turn fun things into goals to be met or tasks to be completed. 

I guess there is an inherent need to suck the fun out of life.  Maybe it is the old “work before play” adage.  If I am enjoying it, I must be neglecting something, right?

As I drive down the road, I see the changing colors of the leaves.  The oranges and golds glow in an ethereal display of color.  I feel a desperation to capture it, to make time stand still, because I know that as quickly as the leaves changed from green to red, yellow and orange, they will turn brown and fall to the ground leaving a bare trunk against dismal gray winter skies. 

Living in the moment is the new task at hand.  Can I turn off all this checking and marking off and just let time pass naturally by without glancing at my watch every five minutes? 

I guess that is what happens as we age.  We look at our grown children and see that they grew up in the blink of an eye.  How fast will the rest of our lives pass?  And yet, it is that panic that is ensued by that thought that causes us to stop living in the moment and not being conscious of each minute of the day, which results in that feeling of time passing by.  Like the people standing at the bottom of the roller coaster, life becomes just a blur. 

So it’s time to let go of the vigil and walk more slowly, look around and breathe it in.  Make a memory of the moments, feel them in my skin.  And if a few things don’t get checked off, or I forget to mark the day, I only hope that I will have enjoyed whatever took it’s place and that the day didn’t get marked off because I was too busy living it.  


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