Telling Time through the Seasons of our Lives

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Salem NY Clock TowerHow do you tell time?   Do you wear a watch? Not me, never been part of my wardrobe.  Do you use your cell phone as a clock?  Maybe your car clock, your cable box, your microwave?  What about keeping time beyond minutes?  How do you keep track of that time?

Today marked the beginning of the school year for kids in our town.  It marked the beginning of another academic year - or perhaps the first year - of the academic life for kids.  New backpacks, new sneakers, a long list of school suppplies purchased, new teachers, new friends, and another year of learning new and often challenging things.  Often in life, time is marked by "experiences" and milestones, not by clocks.  When babies are born, their lives are first remembered and recorded as milestones - first full night's sleep, first smile, first tooth, first step.   As they grow older, we measure their age, not by hours and minutes, but by huge changes in the knowledge they gain from day to day, in the rapid ways they seem to mature, their independence, the surprising ways they express themselves.

Telling Time through the Seasons of our Lives

Once in grade school, although able to "read" a clock, we tell time by the significant events in our lives - new friends we make, holidays, school events, and of course the passing of one school year followed by summer vacation and and the start of another school year.  Later junior and senior high are times of socialization, new and recycled friends, first love, homework and increasing independence.  These are magical times, and typically times of fun and lack of worry, just true living for every new experience teen years offer. There is no worry about time, except perhaps impatience for the passing of it for the purpose of getting to the next big privilege - later curfews, driving licenses, dates, etc...
The first sign of spring

In college, time is counted on semesters.  It's funny and sometimes unbelievable how from that initial teary eyed moment your child leaves for college until they graduate four years later suddenly seems to have passed in an instant.  Where did those four years go?  Wasn't it just yesterday we were  packing up the car - without a nook or cranny to spare - and decorating that first dorm room?  How can this be graduation already?    How did it happen?

Then life really begins to make time pass quickly.  New jobs, careers hopefully, new lives in apartments of our own, serious relationships, marriages, children..............and now that circle of life, the clock of life begins again.  As parents we begin to tell time all over - with those early milestones.  But as we tell time by the milestones of our children, we continue on our own journey with careers and responsibilities.   Perhaps we begin to mark life moments by the passing of our elderly grandparents, or even parents.  And while we are witnessing life in the fresh and exciting moments of our children, we are also being reminded that moments are precious and temporary.  The moments we once took for granted are fleeting and seem to pass more quickly with each passing year.  Before we know it, we are middle aged and maybe retired.  The biggest bulk of our "time", our "minutes" are behind us.  We might realize that although we have photos and memories of "the good times", many of those minutes, hours, days, even years, are but a blur in our memory bank.  We can't quite remember it, we can't get it back, all we can do is look forward.  Time has passed so quickly and regardless of our age and wisdom, we have not mastered controlling it from speeding along with us in tow.
Telling Time Through the Seasons of Our Lives

No matter how you tell time, or what season of life you are in, you have probably experienced the phenomenon of time rushing past you.  You have probably looked in the mirror and wondered where your youth went.  You have probably, at least once, wished you'd savored some moment, some experience, some person more.  I know I have.  But time is unforgiving like that....we can't go back.  We can't stop or turn back the clock.  All we can do is embrace today and look forward.  In fact.....today is all we really have for sure.  Today is the only time that really counts.  Today is the "TIME" that really matters.  No matter what season of life you are in........savor it.   Embrace it, love it, appreciate it and don't waste any of this season's moments regretting the past or worrying about the future.  This is YOUR time - today, this minute!  You don't need a clock, you only need the good sense to look around you, love the people in your life and make the most of your life - no matter the season!  Don't cry because your baby left for kindergarten today!  Savor this new and exciting milestone in his or her life.  Today is an exciting day for your child.  Kids understand, they don't weep over their new growth, they embrace it.  Each phase of life - yours or your baby's - is exciting and something to be savored.  Life is full of changes, that's what makes it interesting.  Embrace those changes!!  Enjoy them, celebrate them and above all.....remember them.

Time Marches OnShare this post with someone you know who might be experiencing a special season in their lives.  Whether it be the season of a new birth, a child going off to college or perhaps someone experiencing those trying times in the autumn of their lives.  No matter your circumstances, embrace the season! 

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