Running Out of Time

Black and white photograph of an hourglass.

Think back to an amazing time in your life. The best day you’ve ever had. Your favorite vacation. How long ago was it? Crazy, right? Whether your memory was last week, last month, last year or five years ago, it probably seems like it happened more recently.

The memory I think about most is the first vacation I took with Laura. Universal Orlando in 2011, the best two weeks of my life. I can remember every detail. The miniature train chugging around the gingerbread town in the hotel lobby. Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone playing poolside. Our conversation in line to ride the Hulk coaster. Laura’s face as we were swept away on Forbidden Journey. “Friends in Low Places” every time we walked past Margaritaville. The sights, sounds and smells are so vivid, the memories make me lightheaded.

Every Tuesday I take the trash out and think Wow, I just did this. Same for mowing on Wednesday in the summer. The library on Saturday. I can retrace every step I took walking out a side door on my last day of high school. Even the bad times bring nostalgia. I wish I was able to remind myself in those moments that I’ll look back on at least some parts with fondness. I remember cuddling with Laura on the days we didn’t have heat. Staying in a motel because the power was out was sort of exciting. I hated my last job, but I miss the extra hours in the car with Laura.

I can’t wait until my niece is living with her mother. For them, but selfishly for me. Yet I look at her sometimes and smile, and in those moments I allow myself to get lost in the present. Thankful we can make a positive impact on her life. I wish when she cries endlessly I was able to remind myself she hasn’t seen her dad in weeks and the only way she can see her mom is through a tiny screen. Remind myself the frustration I feel is nothing compared to what she’s going through. She can’t even rationalize what’s happening in her life.

I wish I allowed myself to hold Laura and watch her like I did this morning. Sometimes things (usually running) get in the way, but when space is the only thing separating us, I can make time.

Time is the one thing we’re all running out of, and we don’t know how much is left. What’s scary is it’s taking everything and everyone we love with it. You can’t bottle it in a mason jar and check the level. You can’t save it.

Savor it.

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