Wishing Your Life Away, One Friday At a Time

 

Typical workplace conversation, Monday through Thursday of any week:

“How’s it going?” “Be going better if it was Friday!”

“How’re you doing?” “Just trying to make it to Friday.”

“Is it Friday yet?”

“This would make a good Friday, wouldn’t it?”

“I sure wish it was Friday!”

Typical workplace conversation, any Friday:

“YAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!”

“FINALLY!!”

“How’s it going?” “Great, it’s FRIDAY!!”

We say this Every. Freaking. Week.

Mondays through Thursdays are simply annoyances, standing in the way between us and our precious, sacred weekends. And Fridays are the golden gate through which we cross into those oh, so longed for Saturdays and Sundays.

And then, just like that, the weekend is over, Monday returns, and the longing begins anew.

Sorta sad, when you think about it.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I love my weekends, absolutely. It’s my chance to wake up without an alarm clock, unless you count my cat. I’m not putting on the uniform I wear through the week as I drive my shuttle bus; I can actually wear other clothes. I can spend time doing what I want, instead of what I get paid for. Weekends get two thumbs up from me.

But, I don’t know, I guess I worry some that I’m rushing my life along, looking for the next Friday down the road. It’s not like I can store up all the Mondays through Thursdays to use another time. Once they’ve passed, they’re gone for good. And as I rush headlong to my 60th birthday, I’m becoming more sensitive to the value of all those days in between the Fridays.

I know I should experience each day just as it is: the people who come my way, the food I eat, the weather I encounter, the opportunities, the circumstances, the sights, the sounds, all of it. After all, who knows if we’ll make it to Friday, or if it will make it to us?

But it’s going to take a major mental adjustment to begin taking and appreciating each day for the singular treasure it is. If any of you can offer some tips on how you do it, I’m listening.

 

On a somewhat brighter note, this is the first post I’ve managed to finish after several weeks of false starts, so I take this as a small victory.

Don’t Blink, You’ll Miss 33 Years

 

July 7th. A searing hot, typical Texas summer Saturday.

That morning, I went and washed my car, a clunker with a squeaky fan belt.

That afternoon, I married the girl of my dreams.

All in all, a darn good day.

After the reception, we changed into our travelin’ clothes, ran the traditional Gauntlet of Rice, climbed into my clunker with the squeaky fan belt, flashed our biggest smile for the photographer, and drove off under the blazing sun, on our way to the much more pleasant climes of Vail, Colorado.

Our life together, like the Colorado Rockies, lay stretched out before us…

 

And then, thirty-three years happened.

Just like that. I swear to you, just like that.

I don’t mean to be cliche, but honestly, had I known it would go by this fast, I would have tried to enjoy it more. I would have squeezed more juice from the sweet, luscious fruit of life. (oh, brother, let’s just stop here, okay?)

Still, the time moved just slowly enough for me to gather a whole basket load of wonderful memories, which I will cherish all my days.

And that cute girl standing next to me on that July 7th afternoon has been right there beside me through everything, good and bad, funny and sad, easy and tough. And I couldn’t be happier, or luckier.

Happy Anniversary, darling. I love you more every fleeting year. Thank you for being my wife.

The Speed of Light

 

Summer’s going fast
Nights growing colder
Children growing up
Old friends growing older
Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger

“Time Stand Still”, Rush

Songwriters
ALEX ZIVOJINOVICH, GARY LEE WEINRIB, NEIL ELWOOD PEART

Published By
Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT

 

One of my favorite bloggers recently wrote about the unrelenting forward movement of time. He had run into an old acquaintance, who told him about her now fully grown children. This froze him in his tracks, as he remembered them as little tykes; how did they turn into adults so suddenly?

Well, we all know how, don’t we?

There’s that pesky thing known as time, which just keeps right on going, totally impervious to circumstance or human endeavor. In a world of constant change and chaos, there is one thing you can depend on: that clock is just gonna keep ticking, one precious second at a time, unstoppable, irreversible, unmerciful.

We’d all like to have some of it back, wouldn’t we? We can all add up the time we’ve wasted, and like to think, if we could get that time back, we would spend it more productively. We would be with our families more, we would be better friends, we would do more to help others in need, we would take in more of the beautiful nature that surrounds us.

But, as you and I both know, we ain’t ever getting it back. It’s gone. Forever.

 

The good news is, we haven’t run out of it, yet.

We still have time to do those things, the things that add meaning to our lives, and the lives of others. We still have the chance to tell people in our family we love them. We can still reconnect with friends we haven’t spoken to in a while, and be shocked by how old their kids are now.

Now, I know, there are many things in our lives that keep us busy, so we feel we hardly have any time even for ourselves. We all have different circumstances that put huge constraints on our available time; I get it.

But, I also know what a shame it would be to lose contact with people to whom we’re connected by blood (family) or shared experience (friends).

Because, unfortunately, that clock will run out on all of us, and any chance we may have had to use our time wisely is over. Just like that.

There are people in your life who mean something to you. When did you last get in touch with them?

Time’s a-wastin’.

The Secret

 

image

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.

You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines.

“Time”, Pink Floyd

Songwriters
ANDREW WRIGHT, SIMON SMITH

Published By
Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

First time I heard those words, I was 14 or 15 years old. I didn’t grasp the significance of them back then, obviously.

I sure do, now.

I recently wrote a post about commemorating yet another birthday, and I alluded at one point to how getting old scares me a bit, so I should probably explain myself. You may not want to read on unless you’re really happy today, because this one’s a bit of a downer.

I see my folks, they’re getting old
And I watch their bodies change
I know they see the same in me
And it makes us both feel strange
No matter how you tell yourself
It’s what we all go through
Those eyes are pretty hard to take
When they’re staring’ back at you

“Nick of Time”, Bonnie Raitt

Songwriters

BONNIE RAITT

Published By
Lyrics © BONNIE RAITT

First of all, and I know this is going to sound so shallow, but have you seen what old people look like? With their wrinkled up faces and age spots on their hands and turkey wattles on their necks? I know, I know, I’m sorry, I really am, but I just can’t envision myself looking like that. Not me. My hair is definitely grayer, and there’s less of it than there used to be, but I’ve accepted that, more or less. Those other cosmetic changes are gonna be much harder to face.

But, it’s not just the looks; it’s the health. I dread what the future holds for this steadily deteriorating shell I walk around in. Will I get slowed down by arthritis? Will I be felled by a debilitating stroke, like my father, and bedridden for the last years of my life? Or will my worst fear come true, and Alzheimer’s slowly and mercilessly steal my mind, piece by piece?

It’s stuff like this that, whenever somebody says getting old “beats the alternative”, makes me think, “Are you sure?”

And, yeah, I know, none of those things may happen; I may just get hit by a truck, instead.

But, I’m the kind of guy who thinks, my life has gone pretty well so far, something’s gotta happen sometime to screw it up. The Law of Averages dictates that the scales eventually have to tip the other way.

What can I say? It’s how I roll.

 

Truthfully, though, I think the worst part of getting older is how everyone else gets older. So, the older I get, the more funerals I’ll be attending. Funerals of friends and family members. People I’ve known and loved for years, for decades, for pretty much my whole life. I want to keep them around forever; I don’t want to say goodbye to any of them, and it will seriously break my heart when I have to. I am really not looking forward to that part.

I mean, I know that’s all just part of it; we’re born, we live, we get old and die. That’s how this thing works. It’s never bothered me as much as it has lately, though. I know, I should probably just shut up and accept what’s coming, because it certainly doesn’t come only to me.

Just feels like it, sometimes, that’s all.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

“Time”, Pink Floyd

Songwriters
ANDREW WRIGHT, SIMON SMITH

Published By
Lyrics © T.R.O. INC.

On the bright side, though, friends, (yes, there is one) I am working towards reconciliation of these issues, because I know a life lived in fear and dread is really no life. It’ll just take some time for me to reach the state where I can believe what singer James Taylor said years ago:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

“Secret O’ Life”, James Taylor

That’s the goal for me. Hope I attain it. Sooner, as opposed to later.