I can’t believe my daughter graduates from college in a mere seven months, that she is almost done with first semester, and she is slowly passing on her leadership duties to the next guard. It’s bittersweet for sure, but the thing that amazes me the most is how quickly the time has passed. It seems like just yesterday that I was telling you all the agony of getting into college, and now she’s almost out.

Crazy.

Time flies. No matter how much meditating we do, no matter how much we try to savor the moment, the days and the weeks and the years seem to be flipping as callously as Autumn leaves…

So when I was reading Conversations on Love by Natasha Lun, I was a bit startled by this quote:

On another Sunday around this time, I visited my Granny. Hers used to be a chaotic home, always messy, full of people. It became quieter when her children moved out, more so since my grandpa died. In her eighties, problems with her legs meant that it was difficult for her to go anywhere and, other than visits from family, she relied on television for company. ‘The thing is, Natasha most of my friends have died now. That’s the way it happens’. In that split second, in that still house, I realized that for my granny time really did move slowly. She was in the inevitable stage of ageing when deteriorating health steals experience, and death steals friends, and a once noisy life becomes quiet.

So naturally I went into a bit of an existential crisis.

At some point will I have to face that time almost stands still?

Which I then buffeted with, well, time almost standing still is better than not having any time left…

Which evolved into another mini head banging crisis.

And it made me think of my parents. Is this how they feel now? Illness, stiff joints, friends passing…is this why they tell the same stories over and over again, because they’re trying to hold on to those moments that passed by so quickly but were so important to them for some reason? It made me feel for my parents… a tinge of sadness because time has marched on and marched pass them…time has become their companion, an unwelcome guest in the stage of like that they now occupy…

Existential crisis…

Can you stop the inevitable?

Is it better to not think about these things?

Is it better to just enjoy the busy, crazy messy life that’s in front of us and not dwell?

Is it better not to read books that examine life too closely?

Do I really need answers? Do I just want to keep having questions, because questions maybe buy you time?

I have absolutely no answers to any of this- how time could spin us from one moment to the next, but one day there’s no spin, there’s just what’s in front of us.

So I’m going to overthink this a bit. Be nicer to my parents even when my Mother spouts ridiculous conspiracy theories- and try to appreciate this crazy messy life…

73 thoughts on “As Time Goes By

  1. That’s a great quote. I think life should be enjoyed, the busy, the quiet, the in between, and experienced as it comes, chucking the bad against the good to balance them out, or just slotting the good and bad as things you experienced and wish, or not, to do again.
    I remember when your daughter was still in high school and you were blogging about it. Time does go by so fast… but I think it’s only when you look at the accumulative that you can really say that. For example, if you count the minutes and the hours, you find that time is slow. But if you look into the past, a few years or even a few months and remember what you were doing then, you find that yes, how time flew by.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As the grandma says in the quote, “That’s the way it happen.” It’s OK. Lead each day you have the way that works best for you. It’s about quality, not quantity. You’re fine. Deep breaths!

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  3. Dare I say, this is life? The quote is rather accurate I’d say from the perspective of being on the early fringes of that quiet. I also think we all have that moment (your existential crisis) when it hits and that’s different for everyone in timing and severity. I would also say that you have a great deal of choice in how you approach the quiet. It seems to be inevitable for everyone but you choose your path to getting there. Live life at full speed, or slowly wind down- the quiet will be as unique as you are.

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  4. That quote is jarring. I look at my parents. They divorced when I was in college. My dad continues with a busy life at 90. He hasn’t slowed down much. My mom is locked in a room in skilled nursing with nothing to pass the time but sleep. Okay, enough. I’m crying now.

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  5. Yes, you ARE over thinking it. But, that’s who you are. You’re a thinker. Being 73, and sometimes housebound because of cancer, my house is often quiet now when it was filled with the sounds of two sons and their friends. So…It is up to us to turn the quiet into the “noise” we want to hear. Be it music, laughter, books, movies, friends… whatever…

    Today I have my two week check up after my last surgery and hear my results and what my next course of treatment will be…or if I even have a chance of more treatment and more time. So here are my thoughts on the your questions…

    First of all, never stop questioning. Questions do buy you more time. As long as you ponder the mysteries of the universe you are living a valid, fulfilling life. My sister the other day answered me curtly when I pondered a quote from the Bard. She snipped at me saying that she didn’t give a hoot about Shakespeare. And I answered her with… “that’s because you assume you have endless tomorrows. When you realize you don’t, suddenly every quote becomes a treasure… a question to be answered. “. Then she cried.

    I think knowing your time is limited actually makes life richer. Everything is more of a treasure. I think about everything. I question everything. I appreciate more. Yes, time moves swiftly and photos from the past pop up daily on my iPad Pro. Images of my precious family at various stages come up and bring me wondrous memories. It’s ok to overthink it. Embrace each moment. I see images of my children at various stages in their lives. Images of me enjoying life…

    My 49 year old son will pick me up today to drive me to my oncologist appointment. His beard is graying, he is now bald where once he had blonde curls. He will walk up to my apartment and lend me his arm and I will latch onto it to steady myself. (He’s well over 6 feet and patiently let’s me cling to him. These days I’ve shrunk to 5’2”.)

    When I look up at him I see a middle aged man who blends into the same little boy who used to cling to me. Our roles have reversed. That’s the way of life. In a flash I remember lifting him into his car seat. Now he helps me into his car because I’m still healing from surgery. Life is ever changing, LA. But day to day it is still glorious.

    We live in an amazing time. A world where We can virtually travel and peruse the Louvre. I can hear Richard Burton sing Camelot in an instant on YouTube . Life is still vital at every age. Treasure each and every moment. And never ever stop questioning. Because as long as you question, you will find new answers. ❤️

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  6. Kenny Chesney has a song, “Don’t Blink” I think is the name. It really speaks to what you are feeling. I think that as our kids grow, they take our place while we morph into our parents. That’s a tough transition for us. Much easier for them because now, they get the chance to be big, which is what they wanted when they were little. We can only watch.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Eight years ago, or 2,848 posts, I could walk, bake, shop . . .

    It’s seems like yesterday.

    Then, one day, I noticed a twisted finger, which became arthritis. It got to a point where I couldn’t even dress myself. Today, with the help of some heavyweight drugs I can type, drive to work and dress myself but I can’t knead bread and find it difficult to walk more than 200 yards.
    Normally, at this point I’d quote Dowson – “the days of wine and roses they are not long”, but today I will go for Herrick –

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
    Old Time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles today
    Tomorrow will be dying.

    Life is short in the context of history and death will come to us all so don’t worry about time passing, just do something with it. Me, I’m intending to retire in a few years time, buy a bungalow and get a mobility scooter. Old age is just a new adventure.

    And if you can’t be cheerful, write depressing comments on the blogs of other people, quoting dead poets. 🙂

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  8. I love these type of posts, which probably explains why I loved Tuesdays With Morrie. I prefer to get lost in the details of each day, rather than give too much thought about those later years, if I happen to live that long, and morph into my parents, then grandparents. I do feel for your parents, mine are @ that same season of life. Growing old gracefully is not a slam dunk.

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      1. Dang, LA, I can not imagine!!!Just the little bit I know already, would make it very hard for me to engage with most of them on any kind of regular basis.. (I know this probably makes me sound emotionally immature)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m in the “time is rushing by” phase, too. Amazing that your daughter is in senior year! As for the point in life where time gets quoted and slower, would welcome that a bit. Frankly, I hope I never use television to pass the time. Writing and reading feel much more worthwhile activities to me.

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  10. The older I get, the more I understand my mother who passed away at almost 95. She wanted to keep doing things for herself even after she couldn’t. I did the best I could in the era of expensive long distance phone calls and living across the country from her, but I regret not spending more time with her so I could listen to those same stories one more time.

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      1. Oh, yes! Those are different things entirely. I’m fortunate I didn’t have to deal with anything like that. I think all you can do is look for the good in the relationship, do your best to ignore the worst, and muddle through everything else.

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  11. How is that possible that your daughter can be graduating this year when she just went away to school!?? I think time speeds up as you get older, the days fly by, and here it is Friday again. I just asked my mother, (96yr now) and she agrees with me. I do think life becomes “quieter” as you get older and start to lose your friends and family, and independence and don’t go out as much. She says that is a problem for her too. But I guess it’s part of the cycle of life – no one lives forever, but would you want to if/when everyone you know has passed on. Kind of like that movie, The Age of Adeline, about the woman who never aged. It’s kind of depressing to think about.

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  12. Sometimes it’s a good check-in to have an existential crisis day: am I doing what I really want? Who’s life could I make better by volunteering or donating? Have I called my parents or old friends? Have I practiced gratitude to my partner etc. But nothing can stop the relentless pace of time, nor our gorgeous children flying our nests… Life is bittersweet, beautiful, cruel & divinely ordinary all at once. I hear you LA 🙏🏼♥️

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  13. We really are on the same wave-length! I was supposed to post yesterday, but couldn’t think of anything I really wanted to write about. This morning, I woke up thinking about all the changes that have happened in my life simply in the years since I’ve started this blog. Even more alarming, I’m thinking of all the changes that are coming, and how those will impact my life. And yes, those last final days, usually alone in a skilled nursing home wearing Depends, are creeping ever nearer. The question is, what do we do with that knowledge?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t over think it Ann. Just live your life. Take each day as it comes. The only thing that stops aging is death. And living life is a far better alternative. So stop worrying about what you can’t do and start enjoying what you CAN do. So what if your body changes. Enjoy what works and laugh a lot. ✌️

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  14. Now I have a way to describe how I feel many days – existential crisis. Seeing my dad’s world become so small has really done a number on me. I need to follow the advice to make every day mean even more instead of letting my crisis paralyze me!! I too am an over thinker. 😉

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  15. A lot of how we age is determined long before our 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. The problem lies in that we are not thinking about this when we’re younger. Our house is quieter than it was (until the grannies descend on it!). I had a breakdown when I realized our youngest was actually at college and would not longer be under my roof anymore. Lesley said it perfectly. I cannot add anything else to it. 💜

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  16. That quote really got me thinking about how often I dislike the “noise” of life and long for “peace and quiet.” Especially with my grandkids (ages 7, 5, 3, and 1), who are at my house nearly every single day. The noise and chaos can steal the enjoyment at times. But now I’m thinking that one day, it wiill be quiet. The grandkids will be older, they will have busy lives and less time for me. Will I long for the noise that I once complained about? Something tells me yes, I will. So maybe I need to embrace this noisy life while I have it.

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    1. That’s what got me too. I had a busy week, and was a little cranky, but yeah…you forget that it might not always be the chaos that we have now…

      Like

  17. I often wonder the same thing about my parents. They’re 75 and 77 now, and thinking of myself at that age fills me with dread. But then, I remind myself that they just got back from a 10-day trip to Ireland and certainly aren’t sitting around focusing on their impending mortality. I think the best thing is to live in the moment and not dwell.

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