Taking the Wheel in the Ocean of Time

I snapped my fingers, and the sound reverberated through my brain.  Suddenly, I was eight years old again, trying to master the art of the finger snap.  My fingers weren’t strong enough, nor was I coordinated enough.  The transportation back in time was so profound, as was the quick trip back to reality across those almost fifty years, leaving me with that feeling of time flying by.

It’s such a cliché statement – “Time sure flies” – but lately, I’ve been feeling it more profoundly.  Each time I think back to a memory and realize just how long ago it was, I am blown away.

This morning, as I washed a few dishes before work, my youngest son (now almost a quarter of a century old) sat at the table drinking his coffee.  “I have to go get my allergy shot today,” he stated.

“Didn’t you just get one?” I asked.

“It’s been a week,” he answered matter-of-factly.  He’s been doing the immunotherapy and gets a shot every week.

“Wow.  Time sure flies,” I laughed, “Except when it is happening, like when I’m at work, it goes really slowly, but then later, it seems like it went really fast.”

He gave his standard, “Yep.”  And off he went to work.

I saw a customer who used frequent my dad’s sporting goods store.  I hadn’t seen him in as few as ten years and as many as seventeen.  He’d come in and hang out and look at guns, and we used to joke around a lot.  One time I even challenged him to an arm wrestling match.  He and I have been living in the same small town, and it makes one wonder how that much time could pass without running into one another.  He stood staring at me with his jaw dropped upon his chest.  “Where have you been!?!!!” he asked, then followed it with, “I’m serious!  Where did you go?”

“Hey, wanna arm wrestle?” I joked.

He wrapped me in a hug, and I told him where I had been hiding without hiding, then we joked some more.

Present life returned, and I told him good-bye and headed out the door to return to my day to day reality.

It’s funny how people drop in and out of your life.  At the time, you can’t imagine that you will, in the future, go ten years without ever seeing them again.

Time is illusive.  It seems endless.  Like you will always have plenty of it.  We put off doing things that are less than enjoyable – till tomorrow, and we tell people – we’ll do that later. Or, I’ll see ya later.  But will you?

In this part of my life, I try to make the moments count.  I measure opportunities, and I decide whether or not they are worth my time, or if I am just filling time.  And when I do partake of something, I try to be conscious and present in the moment.

Sometimes it seems like it’s difficult to find meaning in every moment, because some moments are forced upon us – like going to work and doing chores.  But with time flying by, if I find myself in the arms of obligation, I tuck something I enjoy in the right pocket of my brain and try to bring that energy to the situation. And if there is a choice involved in whether I want to do something or not, I try to look at my motivation.

Time is a ship passing through the ocean in time.  We are the captain of our ship.  It’s up to us as to whether we get lost in the ocean, letting guilt and obligation weight us down and pull us under and toss us from island to island, or if we take hold of the wheel and choose our destination.

A lot of ocean was traveled through my life, and I was thrown overboard and barely made it back onboard many times throughout my fifty-some years, but it seems I’ve found that when I put my hands, firmly but gently, upon the steering wheel, letting my body relax with the rhythm of the ship, choosing course is much easier, and life becomes more like a lazy river ride.  And even when difficult and painful events come my way, and the waves rise up before me, I know that I’m not the only one on the ship. I can let go and know that I will be carried through the rough ride.

I’m grateful that though time seems to have flown, I have learned a lot.  And I guess that’s what counts!


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