November 20, 2008

Time, Like A Snowflake...


"Time, like a snowflake, disappears while we're trying to decide what to do with it."
Unknown


I wrote this down when I was a young girl, as already then I perceived this sentence to be somewhat profound. There are numerous quotes about time, possibly much better than this one. Still, I have always liked this one best, as it is simple, yet poignant.

The fleeting time. A term of total contradictions in every way. We seem to either be out of it, or not know what to do with it. It can be happy, or sad. It does not wait, yet sometimes it seems not to move at all. It holds no remorse or affirmations, but it awards promises of second chances. It is unforgiving and precise, still it kindly sweeps away painful memories while healing our heart and soul. It is subjective, relative and very individual. And it is constant.

I have been thinking a great deal about time lately; contemplating the fact that a day, a week or a month seem to be much shorter than I remember when I was young. Not to talk about years. What happened to the length of years? As a child, I defined a year by birthdays and Christmases. When one celebration was over, it took FOREVER before the next one arrived. Today it seems as if it is always Christmas and I can't bear adding yet another candle to my birthday cake. Well, actually, at this point, there is no room for any candles. And has not been for a while. No cakes either.
Someone once told me, that the length of a year is decreasing with age, as it becomes a shorter period of our total life span. That is one possible explanation.

I have mixed feelings about getting older. I enjoy being wiser and more experienced. I relish being more relaxed and comfortable in my own skin. I love to know who I am and I enjoy the self-confidence. At the same time, although I accept it, I find it distressingly objectionable that physically I am declining. Mentally I feel young, but physically I look old(er) and as such I am perceived by those who are young. I also find it more difficult to take major decisions, as some decisions have grave consequences. Gone are the times when things could just be done again. If something did not work or failed, there would be another opportunity. I could do it again. Today, repeating certain things or getting another shot at something is not easy. Actually it is often no longer possible. Time will not forgive my mistakes as easily as twenty years ago.

Then there is the whole subject of looking back. Trying to assess ones life and be the ultimate judge of ones achievements. That has never worked for me and today I have stopped trying. There are aspects of my life, to which I paid no attention and in this area I have flourished. I flourished beyond belief. It took me a while to start appreciating those parts of my life, as I used to only focus on what went badly wrong. I focused on broken dreams and unfulfilled goals. Scrutinizing the paths I took and contemplating whether they took me where I wanted to be. Often they did not. Or at least it seemed that way to me.

My life has so far certainly been quiet different to what I imagined it would be long time ago, when I was a little girl. I have won and lost, I have been happy and in deep despair. I have met wonderful people that changed and defined me, but I have also been hurt and mislead. I have been flying with the eagles and have fallen into gutters, nonetheless, I never lost the sight of the stars.
I would not trade my life or change the past, even if I had the chance. Time has certainly showed me that I have done the best I could with what I was given. My mistakes as well as my triumphs are part of who I am. Although I am a fatalist to some degree, I also believe firmly that I hold the power to bring on changes and alterations in my life when needed. I can find new directions and opportunities if I just look; time has shown me that too.

Someone once said, that life is as a large ocean and we are the ships sailing it. Our destination is predetermined, but the journey is not. We create the voyage.
I have enjoyed the trip so far, even though every day seem shorter, every week goes faster and every year leaves a new trace on my face. And I am convinced the best is yet to come.

12 comments :

Diane said...

I think this might be your most beautiful post yet! The second paragraph really affected me (as did the rest, truth be told). I'll read this one more than once, I can tell you that for sure! xo

Protege said...

Diane, thank you for that touching and wonderful comment, it means a lot to me coming from you. I guess I just wrote from my heart and I think, us being similar age, you understand my sentiments well.:)

Tom said...

A beautiful and very thought-provoking post, Protege. Thank you for sharing it, it was a wonderful read.

Mel said...

be right back...writing down the snowflake quote in my little notebook...

You know what? This was just what I needed today. Some perspective. Thanks for that. And, it was absolutely beautiful! I got a little teary-eyed.

Mahmud Yussop said...

Very thought provoking piece you've got here. I admire you positivism,saying 'Yes' to Life. Time and Tide waits for no woman. Only one thing endures- character. Bless you.

Holly said...

I really enjoyed reading this! I am almost speechless as I have no idea where I would even start. Now watching my children grow up time seems to escape me more then ever. They just get so big so fast that it is really bitter sweet. I just love the sentiment you have shared here. Thank you!!

p.s. I just told my mom today that I felt like I was a 12 year old stuck in a body that just keeps getting wrinkles.

Protege said...

Tom, thank you for such a kind comment, I am happy you enjoyed reading this.

Mel, happy I could share a quote worth your while. Sorry for the tears, hope they were good ones tough.;)

Mahmud, your comments are always full of wise words, thank you for that.

Holly, your comments are always kind and full of life, I so enjoy reading them. And I bet you not just feel like 12, but you look it as well!:)))

Hilary said...

Ah Protege, you always nail it! I love this post.. particularly the upbeat optimism. I have no doubt that your best is yet to come - but this is hard evidence that your best has started long ago. You're a treasure.

Another quote to live by: "Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional"

Hilary said...

Oh and, if there's no room on your cake for candles, you simply need a bigger cake!

Are Happy Birthday wishes in order?

Protege said...

Hilary, what a wonderful comment! Thank you so much for your kind words; they sum it all up so eloquently.
And yes, Happy Birthday wishes are in complete order! And additionally, for my next birthday I am wishing for a really, really large cake!:))))

Hilary said...

Happy HAPPY birthday to you. Wishing you everything you wish for yourself and more. :)

Elizabeth said...

What a terrific post. I really enjoyed myself, the process is so familiar and everyone reacts different. Because no cake on a birthday, that is a no way road for me. I can do without the candles but a cake is a must have, I look forward to bake it, decorate it and than digg in. Hmmmm.

Can I still say happy birthday since that is only 8 days ago. Yeah, I can.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Hope you trip to Odense was successful.

xox Elizabeth