time

Here’s To Life

As another school year ends, and another summer begins, I am once again taken aback at how quickly time seems to go.

As a kid, it would stretch on forever, endlessly, the wait to grow up was so long.
I remember hearing my parents talk about quick years and I couldn’t begin to understand them. A year was a lifetime.
While I’m certainly not as old as my parents are just yet, I’m starting to notice how quickly the years go by. As I count on my fingers how long it’s been since I graduated high school, or spent a summer in Atlanta, I realize that time is slipping through those fingers in a frightening way.
Taking advantage of time is so difficult, for it moves so quickly, and it’s so much easier to watch the sand fall in the time-glass and exclaim at how fast it’s going than it is to take life by the horns, ignore the time-glass and LIVE.
As my summer begins, and I am quite privileged to still have a summer, it’s easy to make all sorts of resolutions for the summer days. I’m going to eat clean, and go swimming every day, live each summer day from dawn until dusk, and soak in every ray of sun and every memory of laughter filled evenings around a fire.
But alas, I know that summer is not all that different from winter in the sense that it passes you by, and you find yourself at the end of it before you know it.
I have an exciting summer ahead, and I’m looking forward to it. Yet I am afraid of myself wasting it away, watching the clock, trying to slow it.
I often catch myself escalating my expectations for myself, lifting the bar much too high, setting myself up for failure. For while reaching for the stars is important, sometimes my capabilities don’t match my goals.
And then I find myself frustrated at my inability to keep on track.
If you’re a loyal reader, then you know that I struggle to live in the moment, and this is only a sub-plot of that story in my life. I want the very best for my future self, but my current self often struggles to keep up.
This summer, I’ll be traveling to Europe. Next year, I’ll be chasing some bigger dreams, the next chapter I’ve been waiting to start for a long time now. A chapter that will allow for bigger and better. That will allow me to start acting on all the things I talk about.
And that makes me excited – all of it. New goals, new adventures.
But for now, I want to work so hard on the day-by-day. To not think about when the summer ends, and when next year begins, and about endings and beginnings. I don’t want to day-dream about a time that is not in my present life, I don’t want to mope about things I don’t have yet.
I want to live.
Because time does go by in the blink of an eye, but it goes even quicker when you’ve got your eyes on the finish line.
I’ve recently begun meditation as a part of a course I was taking. It’s an experiment to see what happens to me when I take some time to just focus.
The first few times were tough. I was all over the place, my brain could not stop thinking about my to-do list, and what I was going to do as soon as I stood up.
But the next few times, I just focused on the breathing. Each time my mind wandered, I yanked it back. Not to think about anything – only to feel the breath go in, and out.
Because sometimes, life just requires presence. No planning, no thinking, no dreaming.
Just. Pure. Presence.
It’s what I struggle with most.
It’s what I want most from my summer.
So here goes tackling one major obstacle, and here’s to overcoming it. For I know that it will pay itself back in my life in a million ways, so no matter how hard, it’s certainly worth it.
So instead of worrying about how time flies, and how the summer will be gone before I know it, I will focus on today, and how I’m going to make it count.
Tomorrow, I will focus on tomorrow.
Blog Post: 39/52

Featured Photo by Srikanta H. U on Unsplash

I Can’t Live In The Moment

Time has a way of swallowing things up. Making things almost obsolete, as if they never even happened. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can almost remember the smell of the room. Other times, it’s as if that entire experience happened to someone else entirely.

I lived in that room for one full school year. I can bring every part of it to mind. Most of all, the feeling I got when I walked into it. At the time, it was an endless nightmare of a daily routine, something I could not break free of.
Today, it is a memory, a piece of my history, a moment in time.
Practically obsolete. A moment that with all my strength, I can not bring back.
Life is made up of these moments, towering on top of each other, pushing us forward.
“Come help me!” my nephew pulled me over to his homework.
He had to trace the word CATS over and over and over on his paper to practice his handwriting, to make the letters a subconscious action, to get to the goal of efficient, legible writing.
“What do you need help with?” I asked.
“Can you just do some? I want to finish.”
He takes after me, always moving to the next stop, always keeping his eyes on the finish line.
Moments. They become obsolete as they pass us by, forever buried in a history we may not even remember.
Moments are long, endlessly long until they are gone. Sometimes you can feel it happening, you can practically see the hands on the clock turning, you can feel the minutes slipping away.
But sometimes, the more you stare at the clock, the slower it goes. You can feel time slowing down. Sometimes, in life’s toughest moments, it feels like this moment is here forever.
But moments don’t stay around, not the good ones, not the bad ones.
And in a weird twist, I mean that in a comforting way.
Living in the now has always been my struggle, for the future has not yet been ruined by reality.
And if we abandon our past, how can we make the future better?
Living in the now seems the most useless, there is always more to be done, fragments to glue back together, from our past, for our future.
This week I danced with my friend at her wedding, with a heart so full of joy for her, and I thought to myself “what a beautiful future she has ahead” and then I thought “no. Tonight, she is married, tonight she is joyful, it is not yet about the future. Let’s live in tonight.”
This week, I held my tiny brand new nephew, memorizing his every tiny feature, holding him close as if with force alone I could stop him from growing up in a blink of an eye. Before I know it, he will be holding my hand and saying my name, and these newborn moments with him will be difficult to even call to my mind.
I feel the minutes, days, moments slipping through my fingers. How does one live in the moment, and not feel like they are losing moments?
This week, 17 futures were destroyed in a moment, lives living for the future, lives ready for the future. Lives built on a past that now has an ending. Memories of moments are all their families have now, whispers and winks, moments they can not get back. Living in the future is sometimes a privilege.
I may live half of my life in the future, looking ahead to bigger and brighter, wanting more, working for more, praying for more, but I try to live in the moments that I can.
People say “live in the now!” but the truth is, we have no choice. We don’t know how to live in the past, nor can we live in the future. We can only live in what we have.
In the most joyful of moments, it is my responsibility to hold on to that joy, notice it, be grateful for it, revel in it.
In the most painful of moments, it is my privilege to know that this moment is almost a memory, that it will pass, that better moments will come.
And one day I will look back at my life today, remember my dreams and wishes, my deepest wants and desires, and the memory of it will fill me with the joy of having reached the place I dreamed of.
But just as I remember the dreams of my past, I will surely look forward with dreams of the future, because I’ll always be a girl with one eye backward, one eye forwards, and a heart trying to take hold of it all.

Blog Post: 22/52


Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

It’s Been 5 Years

Five years.
Five years since I last saw my Bubby, laying in the hospital, my tears falling on her cheek as I said goodbye.
Five years.
Five years since I laughed with her, shared my stories with her, discussed what was happening in the world with her.
Five years.
Five years ago I was only five years younger, but it feels like so much more.
They say time heals, and it’s true. It does. These days, I can think about my Bubby without tears falling. I can talk about her without my voice cracking. I can even visit her without my heart feeling like it is going to climb out of my chest.
It’s taken five years.
Yet, time does not return. Time creates distance. Time deepens the chasm. Time is cruel.
Because as I grow older, I yearn for Bubby more. I wish for her to be around to chat with. As I grow older, I realize how much more I would be able to appreciate her as the adult I am turning into, and I am broken hearted that G-d couldn’t allow that to happen.
It hurts my soul to know that the last time we spoke, I was only in my second year of high school. It was before I switched schools. It was before I graduated. It was before my first job, or my second job, before my blog, before so, so much growth.
It hurts, even more, to look forward into the future and see the space grow, the time build a deeper distance.
As I take steps into my future, as I begin to see the faint outlines of my story, it breaks my heart that Bubby is not a main character.
I know, it is blasphemous to say these things. I know that I should be a voice of bravery and hope. A conviction to the belief that we will be reunited very soon because the alternative is unthinkable.
But it’s hard.
It’s hard to be in the unthinkable and to be able to imagine a world where the pain is a bygone memory.
As I look into my future and think about the idea of my future husband and children not getting a chance to get to know my Bubby, it is a harsh reality that meets my eyes.
Because I have her inside of me, I have the memories, I have her smile in my mind’s eye, but how will they have it? How will they know who I come from? How will they know who they come from? How will they understand the level of privilege that comes with being one of my grandmother’s descendants?
It is up to the living to ensure that although Bubby is missing from the family photos, she is not gone. It is up to her children and grandchildren to make sure she is a continued part of the every-day conversation. It is up to those of us who knew my Bubby to ensure that her legacy stays alive, that she is emulated in our actions, thoughts, and behavior.
That is what our future will build their foundation on.
It’s been 5 years.
They say that time heals, yet it seems like the healing is often the most painful part.
Blog Post: 11/52

Featured Photo by Julien Laurent on Unsplash