I’ve been having issues lately.
Actually, I’ve been facing more than just issues.
I’ve been battling a gigantic, absolutely enormous, out of control monster that has taken over my life.
I once considered the beast to be my friend. It was generous and provided almost limitless possibilities.
Now, it is selfish and wants to steal away every precious moment with its eager, gluttonous tendencies.
For a while, I thought I could control the monster, but it continues to gain momentum and wreak havoc on all things personal and professional.
Lately, it has been doing its best to prevent me from achieving much of anything.
The monster is called time, and it has an incredible talent for speeding up just when we most want it to slow down.
Even my almost 14-year-old daughter has begun to notice the power time holds over us. She was looking through old family photos when she declared, “I’m growing up too quickly.”
She got that right. Only yesterday, my husband and I were wondering if our charming, two-year old would ever grow hair.
Now she receives daily compliments on her long, thick mane and will be a freshman at the high school where her brother will be a senior.
When they were still in preschool, I never imagined myself as the mother of teenagers. That was a distant and abstract concept – like college was when I was in elementary school. Others told me to plan for it, but I never thought that future belonged to me. Then, when it did arrive, it passed quickly.
And so it is with parenting. We are often so absorbed with routine, day-to-day struggles and tasks that we easily forget to enjoy the one thing we are given each day and can never use in the future: time. And when we do that, time becomes the enemy.
Lately, I’ve been complaining that I have too much on my plate and not enough time to accomplish everything I should. The windows are dirty. The basement needs to be cleaned. The closets need to be organized. Each week, my “to do” list gets longer because I can’t seemed to find the time to tackle even the first few items. I wonder how some women seem to have and do it all when I can’t even accomplish the simplest of tasks.
And then, on Saturday, my daughter put my concerns into perspective. After spending a busy and fun day together with friends, she said, “We didn’t do anything, but today was a really good day.”
She was right. We may not have tackled a task that would leave us a with a sense of accomplishment, but we had done something even more important – we’d made memories together.
And despite all of its power, that’s something time can never take from us.
Trina Bartlett lives with her husband, Giles Snyder, their teenage son and daughter, two cats and one enormous German Shepherd. When she’s not being a mom, volunteering, writing, biking or walking the giant German Shepherd, Trina works full-time as a director at a nonprofit, social service organization.