After a trip to the grocery store, after dropping off the grandsons at school, I pulled quickly into the driveway, mentally speeding through my morning. It was almost nine-o'clock and I was already feeling behind. I was riffling through the to-do list in my mind, trying to figure out how to move as quickly as possible through the day because I have shit to do. Important shit. Urgent shit. Not as important shit. All the shit to do.
As I got out of the car, my neighbor called to me. He has apples for me. I took a few moments to chat with him about his grandfather's farm, rock and stones for the driveway, and how much candy should I have ready for Halloween because we've never lived in a neighborhood before now. Trying not to let my impatience show, I turned back to the car, rushed the groceries in, breathless and feeling behind.
I am feeling stressed because I feel behind. I feel behind because I am fifty-two years old and didn't figure out what I want to be when I grow up until a few years ago. There is so much I want to do and so much less time to do it in. The years grow shorter, the days pass too quickly, and I count hours obsessively. Though there is no reason to have this thought, the end of my life looms large, motivating me, demanding that I not waste time, that I spend my time well.
Time is the construct by which I measure my life. Most of us do. I wonder if this is not serving us well. I don't think it is serving me well at all. When I say I am behind, what do I mean? Behind who? Behind what? Who gets to say or determine what my speed through life is? Who gets to measure my life and declare that I am running out of time or that I am wasting time? Though I want to say that I am the timekeeper of my own life, I am not so sure that is true either.
On days that feel purposeful, I don't count time. I move through my day from one thing to the next, being present, responding to life instead of reacting and that is how I want to live everyday. When I think of my perfect day, I think of the wild and what Mother Nature has to teach me. There is no time in the wild. There is not a frantic push to do all the things before life ends. There is not a to-do list to accomplish before sunset. Hours and days and years are not counted. I want to live in the wild. I want to live.
"when you are measure life, you are not living it."
~~ mitch alborn, the time keeper