Where Does The Time Go?

Something happened today – it was a seemingly every day, boring moment…but it seemed HUGE in its meaning somehow, actually, that is a colossal understatement…this realization shook my world by the shoulders and screamed ”WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT IZZZZ THISSS?!”

You see, I was in my kindergarten class, when one of my kids started wiping their runny nose with a clean sleeve, naturally I intervened with a tissue, rather than watching them leave a crusty yellowish snail trail on their shirt (that would probably be rubbed off onto my jeans later, foresight ladies and gentlemen!);

“Big blow! Come on…wheeyyy, well done, feel better now? Good boy!”

WHOA. In that moment I was suddenly frozen still, slack jawed and wide eyed, as the whole world faded to a halt around me…where… had that came from? It was just a few short years ago that I was in that seat with snotty nostrils! Wasn’t it? Seriously what happened? When did this transition occur? I don’t remember my child-self tagging in the adult version…in fact I don’t feel any different right now, I feel like I am that same child with sky high dreams and a vibrant passion for life…it’s not my fault that a big fat adult shape grew over that boy, and suffocated him to death with arguments over education, debt and career prospects…

But I didn’t ask for this physical growth spurt. No one did…I am sure we would all like to stay in our protective child cocoon, where people blow your nose for you, hold your hand and tell you everything is alright. But the fact is, it isn’t going to be alright, no one gets out of this thing called life, alive.

It seems like you click your fingers and the next thing you know it’s a year later, five years later, ten years later, more! Indeed our wildest hopes and dreams may be limitless, but our time on this earth is most definitely limited, and the clock is ticking. I feel like…in fact, I know, that I will have a similar moment ten years from now, when I’m putting my own child to sleep…”Good night son, sleep well”WHOA, when did all of this happen?! And yet again I’ll pause and question time, space and the meaning of it all…well until I tune into my new favourite TV drama of course.

You see life just gradually rolls on, it doesn’t pause to check if we are okay, it doesn’t stop to pick us up when we fall, it just keeps going. This seems difficult for our brains to comprehend, so more often than not we ignore our worries and concerns until they pop up like an ugly hemorrhoid to remind of us of our morality, and it may squawk something like, “WAAAHHH, YOU’RE OLD! GET A NICE CAR AND IT’S BASICALLY LIKE THE LAST TEN YEARS DIDN’T HAPPEN!” But I think we all know that isn’t how it works.

If it is then get in touch, I would be ready to make that investment tomorrow.*

 

So I urge you to live in the moment, follow your passions and do what makes you happy. After all, you may snap out of a daze and realize a huge chunk of your life has just passed you by. I heard a lecture by a South Korean writer recently, who described how children do what makes them content in the moment and don’t possess that very adult worry of how long it will last or who else will see it and give it value, instead they pour their heart into creating the most fantastically wonderful sandcastle they can make and then shrug with a smile as the tide washes it away.

If only we could possess this mentality, if only we were not so obsessed with celebrity and legacy…after all, in a way we are all that sandcastle…we may build ourselves up and layer ourselves with the best decorations, but ultimately the tide of time will wash every one of us away too.

So tell me, when it’s all over, will you shrug with a smile as you enjoyed the time you had to the fullest? Or will you fade out as a blank…regretting those years that are now lost into the ether forever, the choice is yours. But listen, if there is a God I am sure he would want you to enjoy the gift of life…and if there isn’t, don’t you want to enjoy your life because it is all you get?

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So don’t let your childhood be “the happiest days of your life”…live so that every breath you take fits that bill.

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37 thoughts on “Where Does The Time Go?

    • Someone once told me that’s because as we get older, each year represents less of our overall lifetime…which explains why children think of a year as “ages”. Either way it’s a sad truth, we have to live now!

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  1. Hi John, great story! Just wanted to comment on what you wrote! God is real and He does want us to live an abundant life! God’s Word tells us that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ into the world to give us Eternal Life so that our lives here would have meaning and purpose but also guarantees that we will live eternally with Him in Heaven! He came that we might have life and have it more abundant, if only we believe in His Son, Jesus Christ.

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  2. Being a teacher basically guarantees that moments like this are inevitable. I used to think I was still a kid, but then I became a preschool teacher. All of a sudden, I’m this weird adult baby creature thing.

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  3. *Sigh!* Back in the days when our biggest problem was to pick the color of crayon to use or what candy to choose from the store aisle, we only cried for bruised knees and it’s magically gone after a night’s sleep! I’m quite often struck with this wtf-time-where-thou-hast-gone fever!

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    • haha or a magic rub, actually kids fall over and get back up no problem as long as you don’t make a big drama out of it! I guess in some ways they’re tougher than us!

      Glad you can relate, it’s been comforting to know this is a human thing rather than something only I think!

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  4. “You see life just gradually rolls on, it doesn’t pause to check if we are okay, it doesn’t stop to pick us up when we fall, it just keeps going. This seems difficult for our brains to comprehend, so more often than not we ignore our worries and concerns until they pop up like an ugly hemorrhoid to remind of us of our morality…” I loved this part!

    You’re right 🙂 Crying over the time lost is far worse than not realising it and living life.

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      • Unfortunately not many get that… not until and unless something happens that really jolts them out of their skulls.

        But it’s refreshing to see some do see it 🙂

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  5. My kids are in their 20’s. I sometimes look at them and think “wasn’t I just like them 2 days ago? Weren’t they in my arms yesterday and not towering over me. I work with seniors and I’m slapped back to the reality that I’m closer to 70 than I am to 20 when I can compare some of my aches and pains with them. And don’t get me started on wrinkles. When you are young you think you have all the time in the world. Then you hit middle age and your friends are dying of diseases….

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    • It’s crazy, really! In the rough and tough times, it seems like everything is going to take FOREVER and then you look back one day and it’s like it blinked by!

      My kindergarten kids are already pointing out wrinkles, there’s no hope for me! haha! 😦

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  6. Damn, dude, that post got to me. I know exactly what you’re talking about, in every way. In fact, I feel it more than you do because I’m a lot older than you are; and have a lot less adventures than you are having. I have many responsibilities now, and getting away is virtually impossible because I would be abandoning someone I love who desperately needs my help (and deserves every bit of it, and then some).

    Perhaps that’s God’s plan for me, whatever God may be. It does give my life meaning; but I have to admit I do have many regrets on what I haven’t done.

    — M

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    • Hello there my friend, I must say I fully appreciate, and respect wholeheartedly that you not only recognise your commitments, and responsibilities – but honor them, that says a lot about your character, and it is something you should be proud of, that’s for sure. Of course we always lament what could have been, or the paths we could have taken – but that’s life I guess, we have to focus on the good we have, as you blink and it’s years later. Craziness.

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      • Thanks, John. I agree, we have to count our blessings, because focusing on what we don’t have can drive us crazy. I always tell my younger friends who are still in their early 20s (damn that’s about 20 years my junior) to go out and travel while they are still very much free to do so.

        Oh, and I did buy a nice car a few years ago (the red one you see on my blog), and nope, it didn’t erase 10 years of my age; but it sure puts a smile to my face! At least that’s one thing I can cross off in my bucket list : )

        — M

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      • Also, thanks for your comments on my “about” page. I didn’t plan to add personal stuff to most of my posts, but ever since I did so on my first post/movie review, the idea just stuck with me.

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  7. It’s scary, isn’t it?! Someone asked me how old I was at the weekend for the first time in ages and I heard the words “Er… Thirty two” coming out of my mouth. My 32 year old mouth.

    I know it’s not THAT old but it’s at least 15 years older than the age my brain stopped ageing at. As well as work and other proper grown-up shiz, I still worry about boys (now men) and who’s going to sit next to me on the bus. And for a split second I still think “HAH! You’re well old!” when someone tells me they’re 30.

    You’ve inspired me to skive work for 10 (more) minutes to go and drink my tea in the sun before I fade into nothingness at me desk. 🙂

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  8. Green Day put it best: “I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies/This is the dawning of the rest of our lives….”

    I’ll be content with a life less ordinary and am taking steps to make it that way. 😀

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  9. Oh my gosh I’m only 16 and I’m having these thoughts. Just the other day, I received an email from my school counselors to help welcome in the incoming freshman. I started to recall my freshman year, remembering the old juniors and seniors that had helped me and just thinking how grown up they were. In my eyes, I’m NOT A GROWNUP! No way! But to the times beat I guess I just have to groove with it. Great little story, I love reading these so much!

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  10. Wonderful piece! You are so right. I’m feeling that way right now – found out yesterday that my aunt died (my mother’s sister, her other sister died in 2009) and my brain started racing back to my childhood, spending time with her and my cousins, how life can run away from you.

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    • Right up my street! My thoughts are that say…as a five year old the percentage of your overall life that a year indicates is massive, so it seems like a huge milestone. When you are say…85, a year holds less of a percentage and so because of your differing perception of time flies by quicker! I don’t know…just a thought, but interesting nonetheless.

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