Since arriving in San Francisco a few days ago, I realized one thing: Time is for the old.
I only say that because in the last few days it seems I’ve done a lot of waiting, mostly on my son and his wife, who are much younger than me and are (to me) fairly lackadaisical about time management.
My father, who is really old, would call them pokey.
Despite what my kids say, I was young once too. I remember having the same opinion of time as they now have, mainly that there is plenty of time. Right. It’s only with maturity that a person realizes how fast time is slipping away. Much like a roller coaster, that downhill slide flies by too quickly. Wasting time for middleagers is akin to blasphemy and the other deadly sins — and I am an admitted procrastinator.
I can’t remember when I started feeling robbed of time. When the kids were little, I was adept at keeping a dozen balls juggling at all times. Most women are mistresses of multi-tasking, and I’m no different. Since I was preoccupied, I didn’t even notice time was evaporating right before my eyes.
Then my son graduated from high school and went to college. That alone was enough to wake me up. I realized I was in my late 40s and had a lot of things I wanted to do before I died.
I carved out time for violin lessons, the orchid society, art classes, writing and travel. After years of giving my time to my family, it was hard to do at first. Women are riddled with guilt when they do things for themselves. Their families do their best to gently undermine the cause, especially if they like gravy with their mashed potatoes and you’re in the studio working on a painting.
In my time grab, I learned a valuable lesson: only you can make time for yourself. No one else can do it.
Today I’m on East Coast time in California, meaning I get up at 4 a.m. whether I want to or not. It’s just after ten a.m., and I’ve already taken a two-mile walk on the beach, had a jumbo cup of Joe, checked my email, purchased office supplies from across the country, wrote a little and played on Facebook while waiting for my son to collect me.
I won’t complain to him when I see him though. After all, his time (and lack of it) will come.