Pardon Me, Does Anyone Have the Time?
I am happily married now and with my first child who is nearly a year old. At no point in my life has the time flown by so quickly. There absolutely is no time. Yet, there has to be time. When you think about it, the same amount of seconds, minutes and hours in a day are the same as when I was 8 years old. Yet, why does time seem so short now? I get up at roughly 6:30 am and then it’s a race. A race to get showered, dressed and ready for work. A race to get Foster dressed and ready for school, get the lunch packed, water the dogs, and get the gym bag ready in the hopes that I can squeeze a work-out in at some point during the day. And yet, I have an amazing husband, Mike, who is right there racing with me. [This makes me pause for a moment and send a shout out to the single parents in the world. I have absolutely no clue how they manage.] Nevertheless, this is my race and I’m sucking at it. So out the door we go to race to Foster’s school, carpooling so that we can save the world one gas fume at a time, and off to the job. The job, where the masses collect every morning hoping to get through another day without getting laid off. It’s a bit strange that the race ends momentarily at the workplace. It’s that time when I first arrive at my desk that I get a moment’s peace. I get my first cup of much needed coffee and check my email. A ritual that I’ve come to enjoy very much in the last year. I even get to browse the latest celebrity gossip before starting my next race. For about thirty minutes every morning at my desk, I get peace. It’s just me. No noise, no husband, no baby, no dogs…just me. The only other time this happens is for 10 minutes each morning when I shower. That’s it.
The next race is getting ready to start. The race at the office. Aaaand Go! I would tell you more about it, but I would have to kill you and I would bore you to tears, the latter would probably cause the former. Consider the details spared – but the theme is the same, before I know it, I have put in 9 solid hours at work – sometimes with a gym session, sometimes not – sometimes a lunch break, sometimes not.
It’s 5:00 and time to begin the next race. This is the finale of the races, or is it? This is the pick up the child, go home and chill race, right? Um…no, not yet. The picking up the child part is correct, that has to happen. [I’ve looked into it and we are not allowed to leave the child overnight at daycare. We have to pick him up. They said so.] So, we go and pick up Foster and this is where we begin the next race. Mike starts his race, while I start mine. We are racing together and going in different directions. Mike starts his race washing the bottles and cooking the dinner. [Again, I am grateful that I have this partner, the best one on Earth. If I didn’t, I would never eat dinner. I simply wouldn’t. There is just not enough time in the day to do everything and dinner is the first thing that would go.] And while Mike is cooking, I am racing with Foster. Foster, the cutest, smartest, 22 lb. little boy you’ve ever seen. He’s a good kid and we are blessed. If I could remember where the time goes, I would mention that there was a time I never thought I would have this. Any of it. I never thought I would get married and have a child. It all happened much later than I had planned. But that time seems so long ago now that I don’t even remember it.
So it’s the final lap of the race, Foster is fed, he’s bathed, we’ve given him one-on-one playtime and it’s time to put him to bed. That time of the evening is very much comparable to my coffee time each morning. It’s almost orgasmic, Foster’s bedtime. By that point in the race, I’m barely moving. I’m utterly spent. Exhausted. In pain. But, that’s not the last race. There is one more race to run before calling it a night. It’s called “Getting ready for the next day race.” Aaaand Go! Make the bottles, make Foster’s lunch, show the dogs some affection, maybe even brush their teeth, maybe even brush my own…paint my nails…oh wait, that’s only happened once in the last year so that really doesn’t count. Oh, and eat the great dinner Mike made. When it’s all said and done, it’s about 9:00 pm when we can chill. I am in bed by 10 and then, I step into a time machine that quickly transports me to 6:00 am to get up and do it all over again. As if the time clock fast forwards the moment my head hits the pillow. And all of a sudden, I am awakened by the alarm—the most painful noise next to a screaming cat getting hit by an ice cream truck.
As quickly as one day goes by, so do the weeks, months and years. There was a time when I could not remember what I got my mother for her birthday the year before. It just seemed like that long ago that memory just couldn’t conjure it up. Not only can I remember now, it really seems like just yesterday that it was her birthday, and she’s having another one tomorrow! Seriously! Never in my life have I had a sense of time warp as I do now. Why is that? Is it being a mother? Does that put your time machine on crack? Why can’t it feel like forever until Santa comes? It’s nearly October and as far away as Christmas seems, it’s all an illusion. Is it society that makes time go faster than it needs to? Is it the retailers? I went shopping today and while I was browsing Halloween décor, I stumbled upon Christmas lights. Truly, the days of when it was customary to put your Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve are long over. It’s barely even October and we are forced by business merchants to already think about Christmas!
In life, I am well aware that things come full circle. We go from babies to being elderly and find ourselves reverting back to where we started, all in one lifetime. So when will my time machine slow down? As bad as things seem right now, they are bound to get worse when we have our second and possibly third [snowball’s chance, but it could happen] child…it only seems natural that the time machine will reach supersonic speeds and be worse than it is now. It’s quite unsettling – this time warp that I’m on, while the ride should be the best of my life. I’m having a hard time enjoying it since it’s so hard to keep up. I only fear that as the great circle evolves, I may be a grandmother and retired before I feel the excitement again of anticipation – when the waiting game actually makes time stand still. Sometimes, Mike and I ask ourselves, “Are we less efficient than other parents? Is there anything we should be doing differently that would help us save time?”
Honestly, there are millions of parents in the world who are doing the same thing we are and with more than one child! How are they enjoying themselves while holding on for dear life to the roller coaster called – Time? I don’t know. I am not sure if they are more efficient or perhaps struggling as hard as we are. But at the end of the day, I’ve learned that you can’t sweat the small stuff or the best moments in life will pass you by. Time is going to go on whether you are ready or not. You will run out of it, not have it, have too little of it, but never, ever again will you have too much of it. It’s precious, like that first cup of coffee. It’s something that once it’s gone, you cannot get back. Like life. If I have one bit of advice for my son as he gets older, it will be “Enjoy this time, because the older you get, the more time will fly!”
It’s 9:37 pm and I’ve got 23 short minutes to make the best use of my time before stepping into the time machine of sleep. Aaaand Go!
- Carrie and Foster between races.