Time is a funny thing.
The other day I went to bed at 9:15. Now, this may not seem so unusual for a new dad, but for those who know me, they know that my bed time was usually around 10:30/11:00, even with a little one. Since these are the last few weeks before the February California Bar, Chels has been hitting the books hard, which means that I am on baby duty throughout the night. The little one had a rough night the night before, so I decided to go to bed early. Not only was I out like a light but she only woke up once and I was only up for 30 minutes. As morning came, I woke up at my regular time, around 5:15, but, even though I had a pretty solid eight hours of sleep, I wanted more. Then it hit me: time is a funny thing.
When I was younger I made an effort to only sleep six hours a night. I thought sleep was overrated and there was so much to experience in the waking world: books to read, friends to visit, shows to watch, and work to do; so why waste time on sleep? Some may share this philosophy, others may think me a raving lunatic--sleep is a passionate topic. But the other night I realized, I am getting older. Time is waging war on me and marching on its merry, destructive way. But it’s inevitable. I can’t avoid it, I can’t fight it. That fourth dimension is out of my reach. Granted I am only in my mid-thirties and I have plenty of life to live, but this was the first time I felt my age.
A couple weeks ago, I was at a teacher training and I left some nonfiction articles for my kiddos to read. All of the articles were based around a theme: What makes a person an adult? Is it just time? Or are there certain characteristics that make a person act like an adult? One could argue either way or one could say both since those characteristics usually come as people age. But for the teens it was an interesting introspection on their own behaviors. Anyway, I mention this because I am at the point where I feel like I’ve reached a good spot in my life: I have a beautiful wife and daughter, a pretty awesome job, a dog, a car payment, bills that I can pay, and a pretty good routine. It’s nice but it can also be deceptive.
I like pushing myself, sometimes change is hard for me, but I’ve never been one to settle down. And my life will be changed again when I finally go back to school (something I greatly desire!) However, the deception can come from complacency. When we were younger we wanted to be older. Time seemed to be going so, so, so slow. Summer couldn’t come fast enough. School, for some, wasn’t engaging. Life, for many, wasn’t exciting. But now once we get our routines, our jobs, our lives; our adult lives, our life settles down, time flies. For example, we’ve been in Sacramento for 3.5 years! Where has that time gone? My little girl is already 14 months old! She’s walking, talking (well making noises that she knows what she is saying) What happened to our little blob? Maybe time seems so slow when we are younger because we are constantly and drastically changing and growing. As we get older that change decelerates and it becomes more gradual, less noticeable. It’s a funny thing.
This last week I’ve been tossing this idea for the blog out to some of my friends and colleagues who range in age from early 30s to late 40s. And it has been interesting conversations. One, who is in his early 40s, said “What happened? I feel like I just woke and I became old…I can’t run like I used to, I can’t be as physical as I want.” Is it just a realization like that? Does that mean we are old? Is that how it hits? Another colleague in his late 40s mentioned that to him his change became a decade thing. He’d realize that another decade had passed and would reflect and make changes to his lifestyle. He wasn’t able to be as physically active as he used to so he had to tone down and start sleeping more too! I was talking to another friend and she was reflecting on how she isn’t the same either. She recently started working as an attorney, doing her grind and it is similar for her too. These conversation helped me realize that I am not alone on this overwhelming ocean of time and breathed a sigh.
Time is such a funny thing. But one thing is certain we can’t avoid it. We just have to live with it. All we can do is keep swimming.