Looking at the Brief and Glorious Life

Tiny feet
Dance to the beat
Jumping high
Gossamer wings
Wave as she sings
Ephemeral butterfly

There is something about aging that changes once you reach a certain point. As a child, time crawled. Summers lasted forever. I couldn’t wait to reach what I considered to be grown-up, that is the age of 16 years. In my mind once I had achieved the age of 16, life would really begin. Of course 16 came and went. By the time I’d reached high school the target has moved and I was certain that I would, when I gained the age of 21, really be an adult. The years continued to mount. The 20s and 30s were a clawing climb while I met milestone after milestone – marriage, children, home ownership, career. Things began to speed up when I reached 40. I started to notice the cyclical rhythm of my life. There was a deep current that pulled at my life and emotions. The seasons came and went faster. My body was aging relentlessly. The realization that my time on this plane of existence was finite slowly dawned as my 50s slipped away. My 60s find the world trying to push me to go even faster. I have stepped out of the stream. So there it is. While time is spinning and swirling like water in rapids, I’m aware of the limited opportunities. I’m grasping at the things I want – sort of fishing in this time stream – in hopes of slowing down and enjoying each moment. We are just butterflies. Some are brightly colored and others a dull monotone yet we are all “short-timers”. The key is to take time to dance and sing today, NOW, since tomorrow will come before you know it.

56 thoughts on “Looking at the Brief and Glorious Life

  1. WONDERFUL, Val. I feel exactly the same. Also, do what you can WHILE you can, before it goes. Did you say that too? Anyway, yes, lufe DOES go much much quicker as you get okder. For the record, I am 71. Yuk! Lol

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        1. When time shows us the shorter span ahead compared to when we began we start to think nostalgically on the past. Though there is no abuse in my background I can see how it gets difficult when we do a retrospective. Hope you can enjoy the present and let the future take care of itself (it will be today before we know it)!

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  2. I’m also feeling the relentless passage of time.
    It used to be that I could see the time pass by through photos of my own children- as they went from babies for adult in the blink of my eye. But now I’m seeing the passage of time through photos of other people’s children. Kids I did church activities with when they were small are now unrecognizable as high school children (and some of the early ones as full grown adults making lives for themselves). Oy.
    Doesn’t help that these winter daylight hours last about 2 minutes.

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    1. Carrie I know! On of my son’s friends bought a house one over from us. We were introduced and he has a very uncommon name – mentioned that my son had a friend with that same name… yeah. He’s married with 3 kids. That really gave me pause. I see my sons and though they are adults in every sense it doesn’t always register. And I think you are mistaken about the amount of daylight hours. It is at least 2 hours…

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    1. Well penned! We do remember the whole spectrum as adults. As a child there is only the looking ahead and as we age there seems more behind than in front. I like this poem as it speaks of love, family and a beautiful life.

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  3. My mom once commented that the days were long but the weeks, months, years flew by in a blur. She was housebound by peripheral nephropathy and creeping dementia along with all of the other infirmities of age. Covid has brought home what she experienced, prematurely. Having no perceptible schedule, I have to consult a calendar to determine the date and I have to think a moment to figure out, if I need to go to work today (I work Monday and Thursday). 2020 seemed to crawl by when I woke up in the morning with nothing pressing to do, but in retrospect, the year is a barely remembered blur. Thank goodness for blogs that recap the year when revisited!

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    1. Exactly! Some days just drag on forever and then you look up and the month is almost over! If I didn’t have my Google Calendar I’d be completely lost. I keep a daily “to do” list in addition so that I remember when it is time to clean the toilets and do the laundry… Without that list I’d run out of socks and think “Wait a minute, wasn’t yesterday laundry day?” Sparky mentioned as we were headed back home after grocery shopping that we needed to rethink the menu for dinner since he has choir practice. I had to break it to him that today was Monday not Wednesday! We are so busy we don’t know if we are coming or going

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    1. Brizzy I did the same thing. I retired just before my 62nd birthday and couldn’t be happier. My time is my own and if this dratted pandemic hadn’t put a kink in the plans, I’d be traveling to Alaska and Hawaii and then Europe. Of course Australia is also on the list but with the pandemic all plans are on hold. I just hope I don’t have to renew my passport before we actually get to go on the world tour – having never left the USA once before it expires…

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    1. One of the best things I ever heard at a funeral was that she lived a kind life and no one could remember her losing her temper. I’m not worried about leaving a legacy – I will have my sons as my life’s work. I suppose God’s is the only opinion that will matter. The world will go on without me and I’m fine with that…

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  4. I have been reading an interesting book which points out if people love you all unconditionally and you aim to please everyone, you might not be a leader.
    So, I thought about this and realized I am more of a leader than I realized! I hope your sons will make you prouder and also your grandchildren will speeden up the legacy.

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    1. Yep. That is how it goes for lots of things. It takes a long time to get good at figure skating and by the time you reach the pinnacle you are too old to manage that triple lutz… Anyway I’m going to enjoy my time and not dwell on the paucity of days. My mother is going to me 89 in March and so if I’m lucky I may have another 30 years!

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  5. The time does slip away..too quickly. But to somebody you are still their little girl..in her tutu dancing..on her bike afraid to stop pedaling for fear of falling. And forever I’ll cherish the marvelous words and thoughts you share as my friend ❀

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  6. Good thoughts all. Since my mother passed when she was 25, I have been aware of my own mortality for years. Now that I am older though, it seems much more real. I do want my life to count and I don’t want to throw it away chasing things that will not last. You certainly gave us something to think about! Thank you!

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    1. I’m gratified that this was a thought provoking post for you. Losing a parent so young must have been traumatic. There are small miracles that are worth looking for and as always the eyes turn to God. I would like to think that God wants me to have a joyful heart that revels in the wonder of creation!

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  7. As I read this, 2020 itself is slipping away, and people on the left-hand side of the International Date Line are already finding themselves in 2021. Chances are, their lives have not changed much, as yet, and there has, in some respects been one microscopic change or another. Happy 2021, Val and Sparky!

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    1. Thanks Gary! A Very Happy New Year to You! Some changes will be big and others imperceptible… still change is inevitable. I’ve come to accept that change will occur and to fight against it is a fruitless activity. I just keep reminding myself that change isn’t always bad.

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  8. Boy! This post hit me hard. I’m going to be 50 this year and I feel like I’ve missed so much already. There’s so much I want to do before I take my last breath and I’m trying to get there. I rush and rush but I think I’ll slow down this year and take time to smell the roses. Thank you for this post, Valerie!

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