Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Everyone seems to be in agreement that time goes by way too fast. The little annoyances, waiting at the bank, doing your taxes, waiting for a light to change, seem to take forever but the weeks and months fly by. I have never felt this so acutely as since we implemented a development process called scrum at work. Without going into the specifics,it essentially works on a month long cycle and the end of each cycle culminates in various activities one of which is called a retrospective during which the development team meets to inspect and adapt their development process. I lead the retrospective meeting. During our last retrospective, I almost couldn't breathe; I was gripped in disorientation positive that we had had this same meeting just yesterday. I blinked my eyes and we were in yet another retrospective. Another month of life gone.

Then of course there is the fiercely annoying cliche that everyone and their cousin (and most recently the man who took my money as I was paying for gas) will beat you over the head with if you even dare look like you are in anything but in pure bliss over your children. Say it with me: "Enjoy them now..." Or some varia thereof (last one was "before you know it, you'll be crying at their wedding." to which I wanted to reply "Gosh, I hope not, I have nothing against lesbian couples but I think sisters marrying each other would be a little unhealthy.").

So yes, time goes by too fast. We all agree. Enjoy your (kids/health/childhood) it'll be gone before you know it. You will scream with regret in a few years that you did not enjoy these precious days more!!! But how? How do we enjoy these precious times now? How do we ensure that we are not wracked with regret over not having lived our fully? Given that time is marching on in a constant manner dictated by the orbit of the earth around the sun and is not likely to yield to our desires to hold on to anything; how do we seize the day, so to speak?

This is something I really have been asking myself as I seem to be trying to hold on to a number of fleeting things right now, obviously my children's youth and others too painful to go into. The only thing I come up with are more cliches yet nonetheless they are good practices which I have to remind myself of. Live in the moment. I often find myself mentally fast forwarding over whatever it is I am doing now in anticipation of the next day's event. Just trying to "get through" my run so that I can "get through" getting the kids to daycare so that I can "get through" my day at work so that I can "get through" getting the kids fed and to bed so that I can "get through" tidying up the house so that I can... you get the idea. Sometimes it feels something akin to mental resistance training to shift this attitude but if I don't wind up living only for a few moments on week-end days or for our annual vacation (which we are on now actually, Hello Wisconsin!). I think people who live lives without regret are those who find pleasure in mundane tasks. Perhaps the people who are happiest use time in line at the bank to mentally re-live a happy memory or to plan an approach to a challenging problem. Living without regret means both (sorry here come the cliches) making the most of every moment (while appreciating that some moments consist of much needed downtime), living in the moment, finding pleasure in the ordinary and being aware of one's good fortune. For me, I need to stop living my life like a checklist of things to get through and be present for what I am doing right now. Something as  simple as taking pleasure in the feeling of stretching a sore calf or using time at an interminable traffic light to start a new game with Thing 1. I hope if I live this way, when I am 70 I will not spend my time admonishing strangers to enjoy their children ! health ! youth ! because I will be too busy enjoying my moment.


  1. Oh so true; a friend said to me before we had C that he would be most tense/impatient with his daughter when he had other adult life/planning thoughts on his he started "leaving his planning on the doorstep" when spending time with her, being in the moment....and it made a huge difference...I am finding that too as we try to help C sleep in the day (we choose to stay with her in this process). If I focus on just doing only that, then 45mins to an hour spent listening to her/soothing her isn't nearly as frustrating as if I am thinking about actually eating the dinner waiting for me or spending time sleeping :) (seriously)!!

  2. Yes! I have a friend who's annoying me with what seems like an endless bucket list - constantly doing things just to say he did them, going places to say he was there, meeting people to snap a picture and put on Instagram. I say: stop doing, start being.

    Of course, I'm not the person to listen to when it comes to "how to be happy."