On a flight home last week there was an infant in the row behind me making every amazing infant noise and expression. This was on the eve of my oldest’s 10th birthday, and my heart began to reminisce about how mothering a newborn on a plane felt both like something that happened last week and like something that happened to a different woman entirely.
Time is such a strange mystery this way. Things can feel simultaneously like they just happened and like they were a lifetime ago… because both are true. Linear time, if you believe in such a thing, does seem to move quickly, especially the older we get. And along the way, each week, month and year, new and different you’s are being born and shed, created and lost. The you that experienced that memory of a year or a decade or several decades ago was a different lifetime of sorts because it was experienced by a different you.
Given these inevitable changes, I think we’d find more fulfillment and liberation in celebrating time’s fluidity and evasiveness. Let’s respect its magic by obsessing less about controlling, managing and balancing it all and more about simply giving ourselves permission to live fully in the moment. The clichés are true: the present is all we actually have and we will never again have the opportunity to experience its unique and precious gifts.