As time goes by…


timegoesbyYesterday was my first day back to work. I’m working as an interim substitute in a toddler classroom. It’s such a wonderful age, so much exploration, so much discovery. Spending a day with them can make the whole world seem new again. It can also a preschooler look huge! Our five year old is our youngest child, so at home he is my little guy, especially next to his two oldest brother who have surpassed me in height. When I went to pick him up from his class yesterday, I was surprised to find him so slim and leggy. I was only gone 6 hours…what happened? If you have children, you know the feeling one gets when you realized how old your child will be on their next birthday. “What do you mean you want to get your permit? You’re only 10! No? You’re 15? When did that happen?” I believe this only gets worse with more children.
Yet, time flying is not exclusive to parenting. I laughed when I saw “since 1989” on a truck’s logo…until I realized that was 24 years ago. I wonder what my grandfather thinks when he sees “since 1938”? My older children are just beginning to experience this phenomenon. “Summer break is shorter than it used to be!” Actually, it’s longer, and in my opinion, a bit too long.
Why does time do this to us? Is it because increments of time become smaller and smaller portions of our lives? One year to a ten year old is 10%, but to me…you’ll have to guess. Maybe. It’s more likely because there is nothing new under the sun.
Let’s go back to my toddlers. To them, everything is new. Life is about discovering all you can, learning all you can, and for some, eating all you can. Most people don’t notice my small nose ring. One coworker had known me for 8 months before asking, “when did you get that?” But to this group of 2 year old’s, it was so fascinating! One notices and pokes my nose “wassat?” (toddler for “what’s that” for those of you unfamiliar with the language). Suddenly I’m surrounded by little ones examining my nose much closer than I’d let any adult get. “Does it come out?” Well, yes, but this leads to a talk about germs and washing hands.
Apparently our brains don’t really hold onto repetitive information. It kind of says “been there, done that. Don’t need to store it.” So we go about our days, until one day we wonder how it could possibly be summer if we just celebrated Christmas.
How can we slow this freight engine we call life down? Like a toddler. Experience something new as often as possible. Take a different route to work, try a new food, take a class. If you’re like me, you may want to put it on the calendar. Last year (or was that the year before?) I had made a resolution to try something new once per month. But then suddenly it was November, and I had no idea how I had gotten there. So maybe I’ll make this resolution again. And maybe you can too. Try a new experience. You’ll stretch yourself, learn something, and it’s (usually) fun. And you know what they say about time when you’re having fun!



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