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Wait ... It's August?!

I honestly didn’t think National Watermelon Day would creep up on me so quickly. (I’m way behind in my planning.) That’s right folks, August is upon us. Holy crap …

When I was a kid, I remember my mom saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” and usually applied it facetiously when we were in the middle of some boring or agonizing activity (i.e., a dental procedure, which in the 1970s was certainly not the same experience one would have today … no offense to anyone in the dental community).

After looking at the calendar this morning, I’d like to shorten the quote to simply, “Time flies.” I know what I’m about to say reflects my age, but seriously, wasn’t it just Memorial Day? Or New Year’s? Or 1987?

Admittedly, I’m no expert, but from my understanding of life and the world, time is constant, and I’m sure there’s science to back that up. Right now, I can hear proof of that constancy in the “tick-tocking” of a decorative-yet-primitive (by “I don’t have clocks, I have a phone that tells me the time” standards) wall clock across the room.

Yet, here I sit, on a Monday morning, thinking, “Wasn’t it just last Monday, like … yesterday?”

When I was a kid (back when schools used blackboards, people showered with a bar of “deodorant soap” and boneless wings didn’t exist), time was just time, and it didn’t speed up when things were good. Instead, it slowed down when things weren’t so good.

Of course, it didn’t (slow down); that was just my perception screwing with me.

It was the trip to the doctor, anxiously sitting in the exam room (an eternity) waiting to get a routine vaccination. It was having to dress up on a beautiful summer Saturday to attend Aunt Dottie and Uncle Arthur’s (not their real names) 25th anniversary party.

It was sitting at the DMV (purgatory) as Mom got her driver’s license renewed and you weren’t old enough to be left home alone.

It was … well, you get the picture.

In all those situations, it wasn’t that time had slowed down; it was just my perception of it, and in many ways, the anxiety and anticipation that accompanied the experience.

When I was a kid, the only time I thought about time (or how it propelled me) was when I wanted it to move quicker. I guess that’s because I had my entire life ahead, so much time “banked” and ready for me to spend.

But as we (or at least I) age, things change, don’t they? Often (not always, I’ll admit, but often), I find myself wanting time to slow down, or even to revert to an earlier time. Make no mistake, I wouldn’t go back and live a second of my life over; however, sometimes, I do think about how quickly I got to this point -- this ever-changing point – in my life.

As kids grow, cars age, activities (and energy levels) change, and tasks and responsibilities wax and wane, it’s easy to look back and see how we have spent, invested and, yes, wasted that currency we call time. And then, it does seem to have passed by rather quickly, sometimes frighteningly so.

But as I sit here, still hearing that constant, rhythmic “tick-tocking” on the wall, it makes me realize that if time is “flying” by or more accurately, getting away, it’s not time’s fault. No, that’s all on me, and all the times I didn’t slow down, enjoy, appreciate, live in the moment, be where my feet are or (and this will really show my age) “Stop and smell the roses.”

So, let me finish the sentence that is the title of this piece: “Wait, it’s August? Well, then I’d better figure out how I’m going to spend the “time currency” that is today, and how I’m going to invest my time in the future, so it doesn’t fly past at breakneck speed.

“Life is too short.” I’m not sure I agree with that. I think we make life too short when we don’t grab hold of it and shake it from its very foundation. I’m guilty of that, but maybe if I sit for just a few more minutes, listening to that constant, reliable “tick-tocking” on the wall, it’ll convince me that I have plenty of time for everything. That seems like a good short-term investment of my time this morning; one I hope will pay off long into the future.

Enjoy Monday, enjoy August (including National Watermelon Day, August 3) and enjoy all the months and years that follow.

And don’t worry, time will allow …

© 2021 David R. Haznaw

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