Fly By

Most of the people I know have some sort of crisis over time. Chronically late. Overcommitted. Frantic. Just typing these words makes me feel anxious. I have reminded myself more times than I care to admit to stop answering the question. “How’s life?” with “BUSY.”

A new normal.
I have only me to blame. I’m the one who said yes to things when I ought to have said no. I’ve allowed this new normal to settle in my bones – one of busyness, semi-exhaustion and half-finished things. Long ago I accepted the reality that I can certainly try, but I won’t be able to do it all. That there isn’t a magic trick up my sleeve that will expand the hours in the day.

But I haven’t and can’t seem to find peace with the quickening march of time.

This year was a flash in the pan. A blur.

Blurred lights on a stage

I’ve heard this before, that times does fly by more quickly as you age. Words of warning I assumed I understood. Until this year.

Unexpected depths of nostalgia.
On a quick run through my neighborhood this summer I spotted a jug of tea, steeping in the sun on someone’s front porch. Unearthed from decades before, an image of sweet amber tea, hot rays of sun and black ants scurrying on a slab of concrete. I haven’t had sun tea since my age was a single digit. But why was the mere sight of it such a punch to the gut? I nearly cried jogging past it.

Another moment: a trip to visit my grandmother in her old bungalow. She had the perfect climbing tree in her front yard. It seems so much smaller now, but back then, a whole world came to life under those limbs. A world that now seemed closed off to the adult version of me, the one who has not climbed trees for far too long.

Tree and sun tea

Fueling the fire.
The raw balance of joy and sorrow from this nostalgia is just another weight. More fuel on the fire. Time will go even faster next year, and the year after.

In the face of this, I’ve grown incredibly stubborn about the spare time I do have for relaxing at home and being with my small family. These are the moments of which I can’t let go. The ones that are teaching me to sometimes, just sometimes, say no.

My family and the Monon Trail

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: “December 1: Your Year in Photos
Document your year in photos. Did one photo encapsulate your year? Maybe it takes a gallery. And don’t forget to caption, describe, or or document what made an image so important. Let’s see those photos!”