Monday, April 11, 2011

Time Flies

Time flies. I’ll be 24 this week and yesterday I was thinking about how fast we grow up, how when we do we tend to realize, as Taylor Swift sings in Never Grow Up: “everything I have is someday gonna be gone.” I can still smell the grass in my favorite hiding spot in our backyard. I can still feel the excitement of getting up at 5am to sneak a look at our stockings before my parents woke up on Christmas morning.

I can still remember writing notes with gel pens in middle school and then folding them in some cool heart shape (though I can’t remember how to do it anymore).

I can still remember parking my white Pontiac sun fire in my high school parking lot and walking with anticipation on the first day of senior year. 

I also sharply remember my grandparents who passed away this year.  I can see my grandpa sitting in the passenger seat teaching me how to drive. I can taste the bisquits and gravy my mamaw would make for us early in the morning.
Time flies.

I know I’m not old by any means. I’m still young and have so much ahead of me. For the most part when we are young we don’t really think about time. We have more time ahead of us than behind us, so we just keep on going, and in some deep place, no matter how self-aware and rational we are, we assume things will always be as they are.

But of course they won’t. Time flies, things change, people come and go, and we change. I’m not the same person I was a few years ago. I don’t have the same time I had a few years ago. And recently I have been realizing how easy it is to take that time for granted, and that often the things I want to fill my time with most are the first to go when I’m too busy.

And as time flies it seems busyness follows. There is nothing more annoying than someone telling you you are not busy when you are feeling overwhelmed. I felt very busy in high school, and in college, and if anyone ever told me I wasn’t busy compared to how busy I would be as I grew older I felt so annoyed because they obviously didn’t work as hard as I did in high school and college. But of course they were right and I was wrong.

There is a lot going on in high school and college compared to what you were responsible for prior to those life stages. Just as when you graduate and begin a career you will be much busier than you were in college. It just happens, and often you don’t even realize it while it’s happening. And then all of a sudden you are sleeping all the time, going to work, going home, watching TV because you are too tired to do anything else, and then going back to sleep.

Often when we have these big transitions of time the first things to go are our favorite things.  For me, the first to go are exercise, reading, and waking up early.

I love waking up a few hours before I have to leave for work. In fact that is when I write this blog. I love to clean, exercise, read, and just spend time doing things I like to do. In college I had a really good amount of time to do these things. I’d devour a book in a week, go to exercise classes three times a week, and wake up early even on the weekends.

Lately, I’ve been so busy that I just stopped doing all these things because I “didn’t have time.” But I realized when we say we don’t have time it just means we’re not willing to make time, that it’s really not that important. Because we will make time for what is important. It’s just a matter of what really matters.

So this Saturday, I woke up at 6am. I know, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy and are ready to exit my blog right now because you don’t need anyone telling you to wake up at 6am. I understand the college culture of staying up until 3:30am and waking up at 10am. We all have our own patters and times when we are most energetic and alert. You may be a night person and that’s cool.

However, waking up at 6am on a Saturday was kind of awesome. Saturdays are pretty special when you work, and it is my day to do all of the things I love, especially spending time with my husband, Jeremy. This Saturday felt like the longest day of my life and it was simply incredible. We did so much that day and had a blast.

Time flies.

So I want to create as much time as possible. And I want to use that time doing the things that I enjoy. There are so many cheesy sayings about “living in the present” and “making every second count” and “live each day like it’s your last.” And since I’m cheesy I like all that stuff. But I like to think about it in reality, not just a quick inspirational blurb. I like to think about what it really means to spend my time wisely, to create more time by waking up early, to appreciate the time behind me and invest in the time right in front of me.

College is a really cool time in your life. And it will be gone before you know it. Hanging out amongst your peers so often, exploring a variety of topics, being in charge of a club, going on trips, discussing things with groups of strangers, the feeling of seeing an A on a paper, choosing your schedule and having days when all you have to do is go to 2 classes. Can I tell you a secret? I miss it a lot.

SCC PTK International Fair :)
But I’ve realized lately how important it is that I make and take the time to really invest in the present and enjoy where I’m at in life right now.

So for you, right now is college. Right now is exploring and figuring out what you want to do. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it, to long for the days where you no longer have to study or write papers about topics you may not care about. But it’s kind of a great time in life. And before you know it…

It will fly away.

So consider waking up early. Consider how to make the most of your next class. Consider how to enjoy the friends in your life right now because most of them won’t be around forever. Consider how to make studying and writing enjoyable. Consider that this is your life, right now. College isn’t a limbo waiting ground where you sit until your real life begins. Once you begin to think that way you will always feel like you are waiting for your life to begin.

But your life is now. And it is flying. Don’t let it get away.

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