Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Spinning Orbit of the Sun

Time is a funny thing. This past weekend I got to go home to visit family in SC and NC. Throughout my journey, the relative importance time came to my attention.

As I drove from Alabama through Georgia to South Carolina and back, I had to keep track of time as it passed in the Mountain, Central, and Eastern time zones. The seemingly appropriate times for me to go to bed or wake up varied by the 'home' time zone of the person I was talking to and inevitably there was always someone I could or could not call while on the road because of time.

When I finally did make it to South Carolina, one of the things that caught my attention were the changes and lack of changes since the last time I had been there. One of my favorite restaurants in Lexington, the Deli, still offers the same sandwich I always order and the restaurant is still owned by the same family. But now there is no smoking inside (yay!) and the new waitress doesn't know that I am a 'regular' customer. The guys at Frank's Discount Tire still remember me though and take care of my care as if I were their little sister. They have taken care of my vehicles for ten years now and still laugh when I can't figure out little things like how to tighten the cables on my car battery. It was as though I never left.

Hanging out with my family, we all still have the same hopes and pipe dreams for the future despite the blows life has given us. We still complain about the same things and live in the same routines. But getting to see my youngest niece for her second birthday, I am blown away by the changes of time. My nieces, ages 2 & 5 (almost 6) are not little babies anymore. They are walking moving little people, with personalities and futures. I am gone for a few months, and I become completely foreign to them because they have grown so much. And it hits me - no matter how much things do or don't change, you cannot stop time. Time continues with or without your permission, with or without your presence.

It makes me wonder, am I making the most of the time I have left? Whether that time is 75 seconds or 75 years, am I truly using it? Am I any closer to achieving anything I thought was important when I was a child? I think of all the projects I've started and never finished, all the things I should have done and haven't. The book I never finished writing, the thank you note I never gave my father, the dog I didn't save, the climbs I didn't lead, the friends I didn't cherish enough, the chances I didn't take. Everything I have done seems insignificant to what I have failed to do.

I am going to change that.

1 comment:

  1. What an inspirational post. Makes me want to re-evaluate too.