Lately it seems that using the word "passes" in reference to what happens with time is just a little too wimpy for my tastes. The word "spend" is accurate, but it doesn't seem to capture the urgency or permanency of the act. Sometimes our involvement with time elapsing is passive, those days or hours we allow to slip past us like river water over a stone. And sometimes we want to hold the moments tightly, to live each breath. In either case, though, we are well served to remember that this moment is never coming back. We've spent it, and not in the American sense of putting it on a credit card to deal with later. No, it's gone. Truly gone. And we can't save them up, the moments and hours and years. Once gone, they are in the past. Historical. This is not being written to urge readers to become anxious minute-minders. No, minding minutes in anxiety is precisely the behavior we need to avoid.
I'm writing it because I need to hold tightly to the moment in every moment. Live it fully, then let it go. Choose wisely whenever I can, and if my choices seem bounded by obligation - choose to live fully in those moments, too, because even choosing to meet obligations is a choice. I know, I know...but it is. We choose to meet our obligations, or not to meet them, because we find joy in the completion of those things or because we do not like the consequences. Being conscious of that choice gives me peace even in madness.
Hmmm. Speakng of madness, my job is still quite mad. The way that I feel on Monday mornings is a very good barometer for how well I'm finding balance in my life. Let us merely say that this Monday morning felt a little bumpy, but I chose to put on a smile and sally forth. Yay, me.
My friend Ms. Mo and I visited a fabric store yesterday. I was looking for harem pant patterns and fabric, because a seamstress I met through my troupe is going to make the pants for a performance in a couple of weeks. After leaving the store, we stood in the parking lot and talked for a long while, standing in bright fall sunshine on a glorious afternoon with the Boise foothills arcing in golden fall tones across our view. I spent those minutes in that parking lot wisely. We could have parted and hurried back to our lives when we left the store. We could have multitasked and team grocery shopped, which might have been fun. But what we did was stand in a parking lot in glorious sunshine and enjoy the women we are becoming, have become.
There is something else I have been thinking about, and it seems related to this understanding that time is finite, minutes all count, our days are our own but the only one we are guaranteed is today. This other idea is that all of the very best people I know are hard on themselves. Be gentle with yourself, and try hard to stop judging every past mistake, reliving every wrong turn or missed chance, replaying every bobbled moment. It's not helpful. Those moments are in the past, and the only benefit we gain from reliving them is to learn from them. Don't sacrifice your precious today-minutes, your life-minutes, in homage to your history.
There is more, there is always more, but for today I think this is enough.