This will be the last neurotic-nostalgic-year-end blog, promise. I'm under the influence of shorter darker days. Colder air. That time of year. I apologize. I don’t do much in the way of resolutions, and try not to become too terribly immersed in soul-searching, but the spirit of Scrooge has come over me like a shroud.
Another year. Another decade. How did this happen? Time evaporates, more rapidly each year. As if everything we do, every activity, every emotion, were sucked into an invisible vortex, jammed together with all the other years, all the other people and all the emotions that go with all that. An emotional black hole.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that we celebrated the arrival of the new millennium while expecting the demon of Y2K to wreak havoc on our now nearly obsolete technology? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I sat in my CT home-office fighting back tears, clutching the phone to discover the whereabouts of my husband and friends in downtown Manhattan. Wasn’t it just the other day that my daughters graduated college [2000 and 2003] and now they have completed graduate school – Dana in practice and Julie on her way. Can it really be five years ago that we lost Rusty and four years since I resettled in Laguna Beach? I know it’s a cliché, but where has the time gone?
Time, unlike nature, moves beyond any vacuum in our lives, unobstructed, constantly plowing forward like a high speed train. And, like those trains, speeds also seem to accelerate each year. Something about age that makes the time pass all the faster, we all speak about it, marvel at it, complain of it. No stopping the clock, not in this linear space-time continuum. The only respite is the length of the day and here is where time tricks us. Just as the year winds down and the days have become almost unbearably short, winter solstice kicks in and the process reverses. So in the midst of darkness the light returns. Just a little bit at a time, nearly imperceptible, but there if you pay attention. The days grow longer, as if adding time to our lives, even as we watch the calendar pages turn and memories take on greater prominence than the moment.
The passing of time yet another reason, as my daughters remind me often, to be conscious of each moment, which so quickly slips away. More of our lives devoted to yesterday than tomorrow. I suppose this is why I find myself of late resenting the proximity to senior status. Before long, I will be old. More and more of my life is past and less in the future. I don’t fear dying, not at all, I only wish to live as well as possible as long as possible. If I don’t appreciate each moment as it comes, it will too soon be gone. As so many are. The first decade of the new millennium merely memory now. Fodder for nostalgia. In the blink of an eye, we will find ourselves celebrating the quarter century – OMG!
Happy new year.