Sometimes the reality of aging and time passing hits me like a punch in the gut.
The time passage continuum blows my mind on the regular.
I’ll step out of the car and as I open the door I see my mother’s hands – but she is 10 years gone now and I am only 10 years away from how old she was when she died.
I literally feel nauseous sometimes thinking about how old I am. Generally I feel alive and happy and ageless, well, except for my knees…and my lower back…and sometimes my feet, and maybe my hips when I sleep in one position all night, but other than that I feel funny and vibrant and young most of the time.
Besides, I have so many things I still want to do. Though I admit, on a bad day I am held down by a feeling of lack. Lack of imagination, lack of money, and lack of time, because time really does slip. through. your. fingers.
I know I’m not the only one to feel this way. I know I’m not the first one to watch this happen. But I am me and this is my time slipping through my hands.
On the Other Hand
I understand the gift of growing old, I really do. I am honored to hold the blessing of growing old in one hand, like a fragile bird – a tiny puff of a bird, like a single cloud on a sunny day- while in the other hand time is slipping through my fingers so fucking fast I want to cry.
I want to cry when I look up to my 14 year old son, who – at 6 foot 2 – is still growing and catching up to his giant, oversize, puppy feet.
I want to cry when I realize my daughter has become the funny, fierce, independent woman I wanted so desperately to raise. And that fierce independence means she will soon leave the nest I so carefully feathered for her.
I want to cry when I see the army of wrinkles surrounding my lips, red lipstick bleeding into the small valleys and memories of lips kissed that I can only clearly see when I have my glasses on.
And yet, with or without my glasses, I witness each grain of timesand as it falls from my weathered palm, and I see that my fingers have not decomposed and become one with the earth like many of my friends and family who died young.
Not even 50. Not even 25.
It’s appalling and a little embarassing to admit I feel so sickened by this unstoppable bullet train of time and also feel so delirously grateful to be here and witness this crazy life; the crazy living; the slow death that brings us so much joy and fear wrapped in lonliness and love. Fear and Hope.
It’s the Dichotomy That Hurts
It’s the bitter air in the space between profound gratitude and divine anger that makes it hard to breathe. It’s the piercing pain of living in the freefall – the space between holding on lightly and yet tightly to the fragile baby bird body of understood blessing while helplessly watching life and time slip through my fingers.
Whether I grasp or whether I let go, it doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t.
So what does matter? What matters now, at 52?
What matters is knowing that I am here and my babies are here with me. Their chests softly rise and fall and their hearts beat continuously, safely, under the roof that I pay for. It matters that in the bed next to me is the man I love and who loves me and our refrigerator is full, and our bills are paid, and when the rain falls as it will, it falls on a roof that does not leak and for all of that and more we are so lucky. We are so fortunate. We have all that we need.
We have enough.