The perception of time

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“Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.” ~ John Lennon

Time is a less of a constant than it is an illusion.  Although it seems linear, it can deviate from its path if  you are not keeping track of it at every turn.  Time can occasionally seem like it is a figment of your imagination.

clock

Yesterday, I experienced time on a whole new level.  My hour-long drive seemed to take a week and the four hours I spent catching up with an old friend was gone in the blink of an eye.  And although twenty-five years have passed since we last saw each other, the ease of the conversation made that twenty-five years feel like only one year.

Time has a unique way of showing us what really matters.  The faster those seconds tick by, the more you want to make that clock stop and hang onto those moments.  Because time really is measured by those moments and not by a clock.  You will never remember the counting of those seconds, but you will remember the company you shared and the laughs you had as those seconds unknowingly ticked by.

I can only hope that the time that passes between now and our next visit doesn’t feel like another twenty-five years.

 

Is an omission of truth really like telling a lie to your parents?

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It’s interesting to see how life has evolved over the last twenty-five years.  I’m certainly not going to tout that I walked uphill to school both ways in the snow in bare feet but there are some long-forgotten truths about things that happened when we were surviving our impressionable years, some that our parents were oblivious to…..and for good reason.  Back in the days when having no seat-belts and driving under the influence were acceptable, there were some essential unwritten rules shared by siblings and friends.  The most important being – “Things that happen in your teenage years, stay in your teenage years”.

But, after the Earth had orbited the sun a sufficient number of times, I felt a little more comfortable regaling my parents with a few of the stories that happened in the good ol’ days since I had a nice cushion of “time gone by” and didn’t think I was eligible to be grounded anymore.  The sealed records had been expunged, the statute of limitations had expired and I was ready to open the locked vault that contained evidence of our teenage shenanigans.

Running with scissors would have been a much more acceptable behavior and a much easier tale to share over a cocktail or two but my folks took everything in stride, just like I knew they would.  All things considered, after leaving a 19 and 15-year-old home alone while they went to Florida, they were not as shocked as I thought they would be to find out why the kitchen linoleum had tiny burn holes directly in front of the stove (it wasn’t the bacon) and why the giant satellite dish was perched at a precarious angle at the top of the steep hill behind our house.

My brother and I, for all intents and purposes, were respectful human beings and responsible kids.  My parents knew our friends well and we were trusted to roam about town in our pimpin’ ride – the Pontiac Acadian.  If I had to guess, I would say my brother had a Rum and Coke held firmly between his legs (maybe not so responsible) when the little blue car crested the hill.  It was winter and the steep decline was more than treacherous.  All of the defensive driving techniques my dad taught us could not have prevented the outcome of this evening.  The momentum carried them down the hill and my brother strategically maneuvered the tiny car as it tipped on its side and wedged itself between a tree and a telephone pole at the bottom of the hill.  My brother “stuck the landing”.  All of the occupants were completely unharmed and the car, that only weighed about 100 pounds, was pushed out, righted and driven away with minimal damage.

acadian

(ours was a 4-door, but you get the idea)

After spilling the goods to my parents, a little bit at a time, they seemed unnerved.  I always wondered if they had known these things all along and were just waiting for us to come clean.  Was the omission of truth a lie?  Were we terrible children for wanting to shield our parents from the world?  Was it wrong to want to keep them in their safe little bubble?  Only time will tell.

Now that they have both passed and have access to all of the details of our lives, my brother and I may eventually be in for a long overdue time-out when we are all together again!

Knock, knock. Who’s there? It’s your past.

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knocking

When people think of their past knocking on their door, occasionally there is a nagging worry of something coming back to haunt you and uncovering long-buried skeletons.  This was not the case for me.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday when a short email popped up in the work inbox from a name I have not seen in twenty-five years.  “Hey, it’s Marty from the 80’s…..write me back if this is you.”  The most astonishing thing about getting this email is that I had been searching for Marty online for the past two months, to no avail.  He seemed to be off the grid.

My brother and I spent much of our younger lives hanging out with the same group of people.  It was a great way to grow up and it made us very good friends as well.   Marty was one of those guys that was very tight in our circle of friends.  My parents had welcomed him as one of their own and we created many great memories back in the good old days.

I stared at the email and read it over and over again.  We exchanged a few brief messages and I knew I had to hear his voice.  As soon as we started chatting, it was like I had stepped into a time machine.  I could picture the feathered black hair and was immediately reminded of the song he loved to roller skate to (it was the 80’s after all) and that song now finds itself among the collection of tunes in my iPhone.

It was a truly serendipitous moment.  After a very long hiatus, we have Marty back in our circle of friends and many years ahead to catch up on all of the ones we missed.

(image credit)

 

The only one

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The night lay in wait.

The sun fell through the sky

and the trees held the ball of fire close to them.

The air grew cold and the stars lit the sky with their light.

Dusk had come

and lent calm to the end of the day.

The songs of the birds has ceased

and the sound of night crept up on the pair

as they sat with wine in hand.

His stare caught her off guard.

She brought the glass to her lips and drank.

She could feel his gaze burn her skin

and his smile made her heart warm.

The fire roared and the sparks lit the sky.

This was the night.

She knew it, she felt it.

He got down on one knee and gave her the box.

It was carved from a branch of the tree they knew,

a tree that saw two friends grow since they were young.

The ring and the box were pure love.

She lay a kiss on his lips

and said yes.

~~

This was written in response to the Daily Prompt that was my suggestion today!!  Write about anything you choose using only one-syllable words.  It was also inspired by a friends recent engagement and the ring box was carved from a branch of a tree they played under as children.

Finding the courage to find myself

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This is really a post for myself, perhaps to hold myself accountable for all the things I wish I had been doing differently lately but have not been doing.  It is a kick in my ass, a wake-up call, a reminder that I shouldn’t feel guilty about putting myself first.

I have been feeling lost lately.  It could easily be the November blahs, the thought of our first Christmas without my mom or the fact that I have been ignoring my health and putting on the pounds that I worked so hard to lose.  Whatever the reason, I am not myself.

Up until now, I have spent a great deal of my life trying to “fix” other people – it’s just the way I am, the way I survived my youth and part of my failed marriage.  But it’s time for me to realize that I am the one who is broken.  It’s time for me to learn from my past and realize the only person I can fix is myself because I don’t like this feeling of being broken.

The nagging feeling in the back of my mind is not depression but the lethargy I am feeling is a warning sign.  I need to start participating in my life.  I need to sum up all of those lessons I learned from my past and use them to forge ahead into my future, a future where I am the driver and not the passenger.  A future where I make my own map and am not tagging along on someone else’s journey.

dear past

With a little bit of effort on my part, I can harness that energy that is lying dormant and forge boldly into my future.  The slate is blank and I can make of it whatever I want it to be.

Dear Future, I AM ready.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

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There is a myriad number of things I have seen on Facebook.  Most are mindless, time-filling, nonsensical things that I waste too many of my spare moments looking at, but every so often I come upon a sign or saying that really strikes a chord deep within me.

“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?”

~Satchel Paige

It was a simple question but those words really resonated with me.  Sometimes I forget the number of my authentic chronological age.   I have honestly never felt that my time on this Earth truly reflects the age I feel I am on a daily basis.  I have always thought that I have an old soul but I have a young energy.  Time strings us along, giving us a sense of comfort as we grow older and we are more comfortable in our own skin.  But time does not have to make us feel any older than we want to be.  Wisdom does not always come with age, wisdom comes with understanding and acceptance.

live your life

Too often we are classified by our age.  The year on our birth certificate does not have to define how we must act or how we should feel about ourselves.  Age really is a state of mind.  I will never define or categorize myself by the number of times the Earth has orbited the sun since I was born.  Nor will I let the stray grey hairs that peek out from under my Garnier Nutrisse #535 hair color affect how I live my life because of the number of years I have been alive.

When we are told as children to act our age but what does that really mean?   How can you behave as a number?  To prove my point, Yoko Ono said it perfectly, “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90 – time is a concept that humans created.”

How old would you be if you had to pick a number?

 

 

Chirpsicles and other things that don’t fly

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It was a pet store like no other – the only problem was, it was merely an apartment shared by three college women and a menagerie.

I was a regular visitor to the apartment since one of the occupants was my best friend.  During an innocent trip to the freezer to commandeer some ice, I noticed a collection of oddly wrapped items neatly piled in the right hand corner of the large chest freezer.  The remainder of items were recognizable and created no cause for alarm or inquiry.

On my way back to the couch I passed the large aquarium decorated with tropical fish and narrowly missed tripping over the bunny and a few cats.  My curiosity had gotten the best of me and the wine had taken away any shyness about asking the question.

“What is in the corner of your freezer?”

The question hovered in the air for a moment, dangling in front of six shifting eyes.  The three roommates spoke to each other without words, wondering if they should divulge the secret they all shared.

Shirley (her name has been changed to protect the guilty) was the first to speak up.   She began to tell the tale of how many birds they once had compared to the number of feathered friends they currently had.  The few that had not survived had been ‘put on ice’ until they could properly dispose of them.   The corner of her freezer contained four dead birds that they referred to as “Chirpsicles”.  As the story was being told, the cats slowly backed out of the room to avoid detection.

dead_parrot_-_ash_mens_cu

(image credit: 8ball.co.uk)

My best friend was gauging my reaction to this revelation and chimed in with “you should see what she does with the dead fish”.  After a few more drinks, I was introduced to ‘fish flying’.  The deceased fish were ceremoniously placed on a spoon and, from a relatively steady stance on their eighth floor balcony,  flung into the open air in hopes of reaching the outdoor pool many stories below.

After the last fish had been flung, we settled into the chairs on the balcony.   Only moments later the doorbell rang.  I panicked slightly, thinking the superintendent had caught onto our outrageous activity.  What stood on the other side of the door should not have shocked me at all.   A petite woman lovingly held a small rabbit and asked if it belonged to any of the apartment occupants.  Wondering how the bunny escaped, ‘Shirley’ recognized the rabbit immediately and asked how far down the hallway the little critter had reached.  With moderate hesitation, the neighbor handed Shirley the bunny and explained that she lived on the seventh floor.  The bunny had fallen off the eighth floor and landed on the balcony below!

The sliding door to the balcony was quickly closed and the rest of the night was spent indoors with the surviving menagerie.  When I awoke in the morning, I left the apartment quietly so as to not wake the girls.  Leaning on the elevator wall, I recalled some of the events from the previous night, thinking perhaps I had dreamt the whole thing…….until I pushed open the door to the circular driveway and noticed the remains of the fish on the pavement.