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