Thursday, January 29, 2015


I'm suddenly very aware of the passage of time, mostly because I'm feeling very time-crunched lately.  I'm leaving for Asheville tomorrow - house and pet sitter is engaged and on duty, Baby has a new battery, and yes, that's as ready as I am. I have SO much to get done between now and when I hope to leave the driveway at 7:30 tomorrow morning, and I have a long work day between me and all those things.  I'm resolving not to let the pressure of attempting to be perfect and arrive with everything done and perfect ruin a rare weekend of down time with family I see not nearly enough.

Supergirl Adelaide's sweater needs buttons added.  Willa's needs a sleeve and a half, and buttons (she's too little to care and Grandma can finish hers while drinking my morning coffee and have it done before I go home).  This evening I need to pack, prep things for house and pet sitter, tidy up, etc., and hopefully get to bed before midnight, because I have a long drive tomorrow.

My days are long, my evenings too short. Actually, it's more a matter of lousy time management.  I haven't lost much weight in January because 1) I can't seem to find the time to exercise, and 2) I have fallen off the healthy food from scratch and have been relying more and more on convenience foods.

I've discovered something about packaged foods, though - after a long stretch of fresh and from scratch whole foods, even canned soup seems nearly inedible. The other day all I wanted was tomato soup, so I bought a good brand, canned, low sodium - I don't think I managed to finish a cup of it. It just tasted flat and, well, canned.  When I return from this weekend jaunt I'm going to get myself organized, start prepping meals on weekends, etc., so I don't have to rely on packaged stuff that doesn't even appeal to me anymore.

Another reason time is on my mind: my former co-worker and "Facebook friend" who had been battling metastatic lung cancer passed away Tuesday evening.  I call him a Facebook friend because I don't think we'd seen each other in person in at least 10-15 years, and then only briefly (I think he was arguing a appeal in Miami or somewhere, and my then-boss and I popped in to hear a bit of the oral argument) but that doesn't make my feelings for him any less. I admired this man very much. He was a partner in a huge firm, but devoted countless hours to pro bono legal aid. He got innocent men off death row,  served as a guardian ad litem for abused children, rescuing them from horrible situations, and on and on - none of which was part of his day job as a big time, big firm lawyer.

He had a loving family, an army of friends, and was also hilariously funny and an excellent writer.  His final Facebook post, written while struggling to get enough oxygen in his lungs, was still perfectly structured and eloquent.  He was a steady contributor on Facebook and had hundreds of people looking forward to his brilliant and funny essays on a wide range of subjects beyond his moving and brutally honest essays about cancer and facing death.  Since we re-connected on FB a few years ago I'd come to look forward to his posts, and I realized in the last few months that he was one of the few things that caused me to bother with Facebook at all.   He was truly one of the good guys, and if his passing has left this strange hole in my life, I can't imagine what the people closest to him are going through.

All of this is making me much more conscious of time, how precious it is, and how I'm using mine.
Not in a weepy, morbid way, but in a contemplative way - is this truly important to me, or can I just drop it and never think of it again?  I'm seeing a lot of minor time-sucks in my life, and I want to address them, set them aside, and fill those gaps with things that matter.

I'm a grandmother of three now. I'm old enough to live in an "active senior" community!  (Though if I ever seriously consider moving to one, I want my kids to Baker Act me and shoot me full of drugs until I come to my senses.)  I'm five years older than my lawyer friend who just passed, and 7 years older than my husband was when he died.  It's all making me think about the legacy I'll leave - not that I'm planning to leave anytime soon, but, you know what I mean.  I'm feeling much more focused on the importance of being present in my life, in the Right Now.


Caroline aka FiberTribe said...

Different reasons, but I'm feeling time acutely, too. It is good to filter the unnecessary through this lens and yet, some of the mindless is the joy of living. Maybe in our culture our lives are predicated on the presumption that we have ALL the time in the world. It's an illusion, agreed, but sometimes a delicious illusion. Anyway, the net effect of that seesaw for me is to have become much, much more aware of the choice of the moment, so to speak. sounds like it is so for you,too. I've always thought the last gift given to us by those who pass is the reminder to be present. In our lives, in the moment, and with those we love. Thanks for such a thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

KatyaR said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. This year I will be only 2 years younger than my dad when he passed away--that hits me hard. How is that totally possible? I was 2 days past my 17th birthday when he died. And today's the birthday of my best friend from grad school. If she had lived, she would be 62 now, she died in her late 20s. I'm almost twice as old as she was when she died.

It's almost like I woke up one day and was old....

besshaile said...

I'm so sorry your friend is gone because it leaves that hole in your world. Seems like he left you a legacy of contemplation. Hugs and snuggles with the grands.