How on earth are we nearing the month of May already? For most, 2020 will be the year to forget, but it looks set to be stamped in BOLD in the history books for years to come. Even though we want it to be over I feel there’s nothing worse than wishing precious time away, especially when I spent last year wishing that away too, (but that’s another story!) As cliché as it sounds, you never really know what is around the ‘corner’, nor what lies in store for you. I vividly remember my grandad once telling me that he thought of life like constantly balancing tentatively on the edge of a sewing needle, and that you must appreciate each and every day. Again, the concept of time arises and it is the one thing you have absolutely no bloody control over. The clock keeps ticking. Unfortunately, the bastard thing ticks slowest when you’re in a HiiT class feeling like you’re going in to cardiac arrest, in contrast to when you’re on your annual holiday, (you know, the one you’ve spent the first half of the year counting down to and saved every spare penny to pay it off), that whizzes by like speedy-gonfuckingsale! One minute you’re a new parent learning the tricks of parenthood and trying to stay awake after 8pm, the next you’ve got a hormonal, eye-rolling, Tik-Tok-ing, eleven year old pre-teenager who thinks you are OLD! In fact, they think you are so old that they refer to the times of VHS as the bloody “olden-days!”
Everything was just so much slower – but it was nice!
Maybe that’s the issue? Maybe that’s why we feel like we’re all travelling at 100mph every single day; because the world around us and everything that is a part of it is evolving, moving and progressing so quickly that we are struggling to keep up. Since the new millennium the advances in technology is mind-blowing and at 35 years old there are certain things that stump me when it comes to grasping new technology. My beautiful grandparents are in their eighties and have lived through World War 2, witnessed the moon landing, watched the fall of the Berlin wall and saw the introduction of home computers. The diversity of what they have witnessed, experienced and had to learn in their lifetime is unfathomable. I am just in awe at how amazing they are at keeping up, (even if my grandma disagrees by telling me how rubbish she is at everything to do with technology, especially working her iPad).
But do you know what impression I get from the older generation? Acceptance. They accept that life is unsteady and how quick things can change, sometimes in the blink of an eye, and with that there is an element of appreciation and of being grateful for being here. It is such a shame that in the prime of my life I do not realise it because I’ve not experienced enough of it yet. And just when you do learn; appreciating the sun on your face, the sound of the birds in the morning, the voices of your family, the presence of those you love – it’s too late. I should be grabbing each day by the balls but I don’t, or I didn’t before Lockdown anyway. My day consisted like any other working parent; usually in four phases. Phase 1: early start, clean pee up round the toilet from penis #2, get kids up, make breakfast, locate school shoes, locate reading book, locate school bag, get in the car, get out of the car, locate PE kit, drive to school, drop off, battle morning traffic to work. Phase 2: try to be an proper adult, get through work, finish work. Phase 3: battle traffic to collect the kids, battle traffic to get home, arrive home. Phase 4: trip over all the shit that’s left in the doorway of the house from the kids, put the shit away, start tea, plead for a bit of help from the kids, argue with the youngest about eating all his tea, clean up, clean up, clean up, put a bath on, battle for bedtime commences….
You get the drift!!
What I’m trying to say is there was never any time, never an opportunity to sit and take stock of everything around you or appreciate the moment. Today I put the beanbag on the lawn when the sun came out and just sat there for what was probably the first time I have allowed myself to do something like that without constantly thinking, “I need to do this” or “I need to be getting on with that”. Usually, I don’t have the time to just sit and relax in the garden because there’s always something else to do or be done. But at the moment, even though time is flying by it feels like it’s also standing still and we have some decent “time” on our hands. For us in my household, we are all well at the moment and following the social distancing rules of Lockdown. However, I feel incredible sorrow for those who are presently battling Covid-19, another health issue or are a family member to someone who is. For you, on a personal level I sympathise greatly as the recurring days of waiting for news, waiting for progress and waiting for it to be over is agonising. Time slows to a standstill whilst the outside world continues, unaware of your pain and that desperation to help the one you love is unbearable.
“Time is an illusion”
– Albert Einstein
I think old Albert is bloody right, time is an illusion. To some time is in abundance, you’re overwhelmed with time. Take kids for example, their day is a empty void waiting to be filled with imagination, awe and wonder. For many, it is thought that adults have to provide that awe and wonder but you’ll find that if you just leave kids ‘be’, they will find something as simple as a stick to occupy their crazy-ass minds. Proof of this would be yesterday when Ernie came downstairs dressed up as a banana with a police uniform over the top. Although I didn’t understand who he was trying to tell me he was, he was absolutely certain about the character he was trying to portray in his imaginary game. Unfortunately, as an adult I see time as a weekly diary filled to the brim with things to do, appointments, work or clubs, ferrying the kids from one destination to another, squeezing enough time to make a home-cooked tea or walk the dog. But yes, Einstein’s theory of time being an illusion could be right. We make time in to what we want it to be, we make ourselves busy, some of us are bored, many are waiting, others are having a whale of a time, but the clock still ticks; fast for some, slow for others.
What I’m trying to say is that time is what we make it. You really don’t know how valuable time is until you are faced with it being taken from you. Only then do you even begin to appreciate those tiny, (what used to be insignificant) things like the sun on your face or birdsong. Things will go back to normal, the fast-paced days of balancing work and childcare will recommence and you will forget to take a step back and just appreciate a bit of time. I really hope for as long as I can I remember what Lockdown feels like for me that I try and home in to my “Lockdown Life” once in a while when reality kicks in. You can manage not going to the supermarket every couple of days for those little bits you think that you need. You don’t need to spend weekends shopping or visiting special places to entertain the kids. It could be the case that by allowing kids to become bored once in a while is good for their self-regulation, (yes I did just say that – let the kids get bored!) Why should we be providing constant opportunities to occupy them? Let them use their imagination, let them find their own resources.
It’s another day tomorrow and another the day after that, but it’s the chance for opportunity, adventure and most of all it’s TIME. Time to think, time to love, time to see, hear and feel. Time that for some they simply do not have. Anyway of enough of the deep stuff, I need to go and separate World War 3 in the conservatory between a leather-clad Ernest and his sister!!!
Happy Friday folks x