This I Believe

Peggy - Tucson, Arizona
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: change

This I believe

I believe if there is a road to hell, that mine is paved with to-do lists. For as long as I can remember, I have thought of time as an adversary, something to capture and wring dry. How many high school sophomores think to themselves, “next year we will all be driving, life will change, we have to enjoy every minute of being fifteen.” I remember saying that to my friends, who did not even dignify it with an answer, but only gave me the adolescent eye roll and went back to mentally drumming their fingers on the dashboard. I believe that every experience on earth is terrifyingly temporary, except making new years resolutions. They are perennial. I do not make them anymore since I realized I had tried to lose one hundred pounds: ten pounds each year for ten years in a row. It was just another annoying list.

I have always thought of time, however elusive and obtuse, as the building block of life. That gives it so much importance, so much weight, that it is even harder to manage. Now that I have watched our children leave the nest and two of our parents leave the earth, I wonder if time is not so much a force to be reckoned with, as a force to revel in. Maybe time can be part of me, and fill me like the wind in October. I have seen how time heals, teaches, and gives. What it brings can not be measured in minutes or even moments. I can make soup in an hour or an afternoon, but it is better when I don’t rush, and choose the ingredients carefully.

Somehow I have had the idea that the more I can cram into eighteen waking hours, the better. I have been greedy with time, trying to squeeze too much out of it. If time is money, you have to spend some to make more. I have to cast my bread on the water. My friend Tom told me that when he turned fifty, he decided to make friends with fat. I have decided to make friends with time. I am dropping my weapons. My next and last New Year’s resolution will be to toss my time tracker, and make tracks in the sand. I believe I will keep this one.