Time

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When I think of aging. Of age. Of the number of years in which I have opened my eyes each morning, it seems but just a brief moment. As if all my life could be catalogued before I even blink my eyes. Well, okay, not blink my eyes. But hold them closed long enough to indulge in a quick game of hide in seek. Which is what time really is after all, a game of hide and seek.

When I was a child of around four years old, I remember laying outside on a big blanket and looking up at the stars. I remember feeling weary. I remember this profound thought ran through my head. “This is my last time here. I am so tired. So old. I cannot do this again.”

That same year, it felt as though each morning I would wake up and it would feel as if all of the things that had happened the day before to me had actually happened to someone else. It was my young mind trying to grasp the definition of a memory. So, each night I would lay in my bed and I would say to myself, “Good night, Jenni. I’ll miss you. You’ll be a new Jenni in the morning.”

I can see your face.

It looks like my husband’s face when I told him my little saying. To paraphrase my husband, “that is the creepiest thing I have ever heard.”

But I think my child self had it right. We are all just made up of the memories we have made. And each day, a new one is added to the mixture in our heads. It makes sense to me that we are ever evolving. Ever changing. And each morning when we wake up, we are a slightly different person than the day before.

Time touches us all.

It is shown in the new lines on our faces. The spots on our hands. The inches added and then deducted to our height. The length of our hair.

Yes.

Four year old Jenni had it right in her very slightly neurotic view of time.

And thirty six year old Jenni has to smile at that.

Well, that, and how much fun it is to sometimes say out loud.

In the dark.

While my husband is just shutting his eyes.

“Good night Jenni. I’ll miss you. You’ll be a new Jenni in the morning.”

And maybe I’ll say it like a small child.

And maybe in a high pitched whisper.

And then I will shut my eyes and go to sleep.

Smiling.

Because I know my husband is laying in the dark. Eyes wide open.

Having the time of his life.

At least that’s what the old Jenni told me.

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* This post was written in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, “Golden Years.”

8 thoughts on “Time

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. My name is Jenni too so I could hear myself saying “You will be a new Jenni in the morning!” When life gets rough it can be comforting to think that life is evolving and the creation of new memories can make things seem more hopeful. Thank you for the fresh insight. I needed it today.

    • Thank you Jennifer! I really appreciate it! I agree. Fresh perspectives are always nice. I had a rough week last week. I always try to remind myself that this too will pass. That really helped me last week.

      Thank you so much for commenting. I am glad you enjoyed the post.

      I hope you have a beautiful week!

      Jenni

  2. ok I’m totally laughing YOU MUST high pitch whisper that to your husband as he falls asleep…YOU MUST!

    The fact that you could have such profound thoughts at 4 years old is incredible, but what is more incredible is the fact that you can remember having those thoughts. I think you’re right, each day we change, each day we disappear, each morning we reappear. Maybe children are more enlightened than adults in general and you had this brilliant observation because you were “free” to think it.

    I have all kinds of creepy ideas about time/memories/life, but the creepiest has happened since my son was born. I keep thinking that after death instead of my life “flashing” before my eyes I’m going to have to watch the WHOLE thing in like real time, but as a passive observer. Since the moment I had that thought everything has changed. Maybe for you, your 4 year old realization of time changed your life for the better, i know my weird thought has. ps. sorry for the length of this novel / comment.

    • Thank you Angie! Ha! I definitely am going to do it. But I have to wait a bit, cause he is on high alert after reading this post. It would not be any fun if he knew it was coming. ; )

      I have a weird memory. I can remember all the way back to the time I was one and got lost in our hallway. But how to do geometry? Escapes me.

      That is an interesting theory you had. And one I had not thought of! It kind of makes my stomach sink. That would be awful!!! I hope that never happens!

      Thank you for commenting. And for getting the humor. I will let you know if I ever whisper that to my husband. ; )

      Have a wonderful week!

      Jenni

  3. Oh my goodness. What a thought for a 4 year old.
    Time sure is weird. I swear it gets faster and faster as we age. Seriously, the last 10 years went by in the blink of an eye. Poof. And it’s 10 years in the future.

    • Thank you Cynthia. I was an odd child. ; ). I could spend three hours staring at dust motes. Time is going by so quickly. I agree. The older I get the shorter the years get. It is not fair. Not when we can finally really appreciate life.

      Thank you for your perspective.

      Have a Terrific Thursday!

      Jenni

  4. What a lovely post. Both my wife and I both have similar feelings to bed time now as we did when we were little. I don’t think little Jenni was too far off the mark.

    It is strange how our perceptions of time change as we get older. I agree that it is now only at our roughly similar age that you get a better feel for things and it is a shame that the years so so quickly now we can appreciate them. How I’d long for that feeling of endless fun on the last day of school in the summer knowing how I’d have six weeks playing with my friends.

    • Thank you Stephen. Yes, we can only truly appreciate time when we no longer have an abundance to spare. As with most things in life. Unfortunately. Right now I am having a slight panic attack as I desperately need to be finished with something by 9:00 tomorrow morning. And I have not started! So, I will be up at the crack of dawn. Ugh. Time!

      I hope you are doing well! Have a lovely weekend!

      Jenni

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