This I Believe

Dana - Houston, Texas
Entered on January 5, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: carpe diem

I believe that time is an unrealized commodity. When I was born, I knew not what my portion would to be. My brother Mark lived only twenty-three hours. For my mother those hours were long and arduous, yet also brief and fleeting. Her time with him, gone forever from her reach.

Everyone has a past, present, and future. The present is the life bridge between the past and future. As the bridge is only traveled once, I want to enjoy the moments. Historically, I have lived for the future. Planning, coordinating, and ultimately trying to regulate time. I am efficient with every minute in order to orchestrate more. Some mornings I awake early in order to have more time. Of course, Father Time captures it again when I lay my head down an hour earlier that same evening. As C. S. Lewis said, “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”

As a child, waiting for Christmas morning seemed like a lifetime. Now, as a parent there is never enough time to ready everything for the morning gaiety. I always mumble that Christmas comes too soon these days. Those long glorious summers swimming at the beach are treasured. Now I say, “When does school start?”

When my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s our family noted the time. The disease slowly and methodically took him away from us. Second by second, minute by minute he faded from us. Part of me wanted him to die and end the inevitable quickly, yet still I wanted him to last forever no matter his condition. He lasted eight years and in hindsight, those eight years were the longest and shortest years of my life.

After my husband and I decided to adopt a baby from China, we impatiently waited one and half years before our daughter was placed in my arms. Time stopped … I was not ready for the enormity of what lay ahead. During the first days of parenthood, time moved forward dragging me along as though I was a reluctant participant. Soon I became comfortable with my new role. Now, our daughter is growing fast and I am on a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes too slow, sometimes too fast, and never knowing when the whirls will come. I need to heed that enjoying every moment is what is precious.

To live in the present, treasuring each moment given to me is a choice I should not deny myself. It is what will make my life rich and glorious. I will create wondrous memories that I can carry into the future. Then when I reminisce, I can marvel at my capacity of having lived a full life. I endeavor to remember, that time is a commodity to be spent not saved. While I spend it, I am making my life. And yes, I believe I’ll spend it now.