The Passage of Time

Okay, so I’m supposed to be working, but every report I do I type today’s date. I can’t fathom that it is almost October already. I am planning my oldest daughter’s 8th birthday party. Holy crap! That is almost as hard to accept as the fact that my baby is going to be 3 in December. Mind boggling, especially because I swear I’m not a day over 25.

As I was just working something dawned on me. When you are a kid, you have the obligations of life – school and age-appropriate household responsibilities – everything else is gravy. You look forward to the fun stuff – hanging out with friends, playing, summer time, etc. I remember always looking forward towards the next weekend or the next vacation or when I would turn 10 (or 16 or 18). I just realized that once you “grow up” you can’t live life like that. Many people do. But as an adult (especially if you are a parent) there is so much to do every day just to keep your head above water, that if you don’t find some joy in your every day activities and responsibilities then you will be miserable.

When I was 8, my best friend and I used to climb the crab apple trees in our yards and imagine all sorts of different things. One thing I specifically remember was us “deciding” that were going to be inventors when we grew up so we could make a tree house that looked like your normal everyday tree, but if you knew the secret (not sure if we ever defined this) you would be able to enter and it would have all the amenities of a normal house – BUT no one would know it was there! How cool would that be? We lived in the moment and played and had fun and were kids. We rode our bikes and played with our Cabbage Patch Kids and made forts and had sleepovers, but we were escaping the present. I guess you could say that we were being kids and using our imagination and how wonderful is that, but we were trying to escape the boredom of everyday life.

My family went camping almost every summer until I was 12. We would pitch the tent at various National Parks and hike and swim and wander through nature. It was really nice. I enjoyed spending time with my family. It’s what we did (in between my brother and I annoying the hell out of each other and ultimately our mom). But then it was over and we went back to the same old “boring” life.

I’m 32 years old, and I just realized that no matter how much I’d love to be sitting my butt on the couch watching bad TV, I’m instead lucky enough to be sitting at my computer in MY house with my sleeping kids down the hall doing something that I actually like doing. I complain about it. Some days I wish I didn’t have to do it (like when the hubby is out of town and I don’t start until late). But I don’t want a job that takes me away from my family. I don’t want a job where I have to deal with obnoxious customers (been there, done that). I have a job that I enjoy, that can actually make life easier/better for people, and I get to be home.

I also never wanted to move back “home”. But tonight, for instance, because of the flexibility of my job and the kids’ school I was able to take my girls to the lake to have dinner with their grandparents, great aunt and uncle who are in town, and their cousin. I didn’t have to worry about getting home late and them having to wake up early. If they want to sleep in a little because they are tired, I can let them! I can also – because they were all tired on the 40-minute drive home – have conversations with them about stuff. We have the time to talk. We talked about why we can’t send astronauts to the former planet Pluto, what satellites are and how they work (I’m a generalist, I gave the simple version). Even though a couple of posts down I wasn’t, I am happy with my life and I’m thankful for the mundane and boring parts of our life. What if I had decided not to do dinner and just stay home “because I’m tired”? I would have missed this conversation. I know it wouldn’t have happened sitting at home.

I have another post about my faith that I will get to later this week. I think that a couple of things that have happened in the last week have helped me be content at this moment. It’s not a huge epiphany – just a couple of things that made me feel not so alone in my faith and the church we attend.

So, if that keeps you in suspense, so be it. If not, you’ll get to read it anyway!

Now, back to work I go!

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by anniemcq on September 25, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Loved this post. Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to hang out with this kid, do this job that challenges me all day and gets me home in time to meet the bus, and help with homework and piano practice. We’re financially just getting by with a little extra, but for now it’s worth it.

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