Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Introspection

I always feel sort of introspective this time of year.  You see, I've got a birthday and an anniversary coming up (42 and 21, respectively) and they always make me feel just a little blue.  I know how odd that sounds, really, I do.  It's not that I'm unhappy with my life or my marriage, just the opposite, in fact.  What gets me down is that birthdays and anniversaries are a reminder of all that's passed.  Over time, my focus seems to have shifted from what is today and what will be tomorrow to all the yesterdays that will never be again.

photo courtesy of Google images

It's pessimistic to think that way, I suppose, even though I don't think of myself as a pessimist.  I see the glass half full, but in the back of my mind, I guess I'm marking the water line on the glass with a sharpie.  Birthdays and anniversaries aren't the issue, anyway. Any day and every day stand to mark the passage of time. I just tend to think more about it around those days.


I know that most of it comes from being a parent. When our kids were both little, I would think; we're raising our children to be responsible and independent so that they will someday be grown up and on their own. That day seemed so far away it was barely worth thinking about. Now that they're getting older the emphasis has changed to; grown up and on their own. Someday doesn't seem so far off now and it makes me sad.
photo courtesy of Google images

I used to have this notion, and maybe I still do, that I could grab onto a piece of time and keep it for a while.  That I could stop time from moving forward, pick a moment, and just live there as long as it suited me.  I could revisit the time, right after we were married, when we spent our Friday and Saturday nights having dinner and drinks with friends who've since moved away.  I could go back to the days when my son was a toddler who was happy to spend an afternoon watching Winnie The Pooh with me.  Or I could relive a family vacation in 2005 when my husband and I made sand sculptures with our daughter on the beach while our son gathered shells.  I could even wind back the clock to the days when I didn't worry about my parents getting older.


There are those singular moments in time whose passing I mourn in some way, too.  Those rare, perfect gems that come along once, never to be experienced again.  Our wedding day was one of those.  I remember so clearly standing with my dad, waiting to walk down the aisle to the man who was about to become my husband.  I was literally and figuratively looking my future in the eye.  It was a moment that changed and shaped my life, our lives, in such a wonderfully profound way.  Almost 21 years later and we're still as crazy about each other as we were on that day.  But, oh, to experience that moment again....

Walking down the aisle with my dad
April 22, 1989

All that being said, I don't hate birthdays and anniversaries and I haven't lost my ability to appreciate today.  I know there will always be wonderful memories waiting to be made.   I just hate the fact that, the older I get, the older everyone I care about gets.  I miss the days when I didn't worry about that.....


Willoughby

19 comments:

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

What a beautiful post; happy birthday and happy anniversary :)

I know exactly how you feel, though. My daughter is heading into the tween years and I still have to remind myself she's not going to stop growing up!

L.B. said...

Fantastic post. Vintage Willoughby.

I try and cherish every moment as much as possible with my girls because I know that before too long I'll be dealing with tweens and teens, and then they'll be off on their own before I know it.

Liz in Virginia said...

This is very thought-provoking . . . .

I usually get a little weepy on my kids' birthdays rather than mine -- it really does seem like time flies away from us a little faster with each year.

One thing that makes me happy is that my kids seem to be a little sentimental about their childhoods, too. Recently I was trying to cull some children's books from our too-large collection, but had to give up because every book seemed to evoke a memory: "Mom! You CAN'T get rid of "Madeline!"

Chicago Mom said...

Very poignant post. The older I get the faster time flies by. Like L.B., I cherish this time when my daughter still wants me around because I know that she'll be 13 all too soon and will want nothing to do with me!

Matty said...

I know exactly how you feel. It seems like yesterday that I was tucking my children into bed, and now they're tucking my grandchildren in. I often wish that I could go back and relive certain moments in time, and yes, even change some things. But God gave us a memory to relive them over and over, as often as we choose. Just continue to cherish and appreciate every day, because today will one day become a memory.

P.S. I think this is the first I've seen you. You made a lovely bride, and your dad looks quite proud.

Together We Save said...

Oh my gosh we are the same age and have been married the same amount of time. I could have written this post!! I feel the same way about my life too. I just want to dig my heels in and slow things down a bit!

Kathy said...

Nice post! I did not think I was going to get old at all! I figured sheer will power would prevent me fom losing my eye sight, hearing, etc. I didn't work! The first sign was the loss of eyesight relateted to AGE. It has been the worst of all.

I love seeing the kids leave the house, hold jobs and be responsible, my job is just about done and maybe I will get to be more of a friend than a parent soon!

***Holly*** said...

Wow. I can relate. The older I get, the more conscious I am about time. Love your photo! It just occured to me that I had no idea what you look like! :D

Tracie said...

This was so touching.

I always say that I wish I could have my boys little again just for a day. I was so stressed out and nutty at the time that I feel like I couldn't appreciate that period for how precious it was.

And now I'm crying. (really)

Cameron said...

This was such a great post. I think about this kind of stuff all the time. How you want to be able to stop time even for just a second. I try to look around sometimes and take mental pictures hoping they will last forever and be as vivid as the real moment was. I don't think it is pessimistic, it's just part of life and actually it seems you do a good job of reveling in the moment, knowing how blessed you are and savoring every moment so much that you wish it could last.

Thanks for sharing this.

Raoulysgirl said...

I'm going to be honest here and admit that this post made me cry. This is exactly how I feel...and although it is a little depressing (or a lot), it's also life...and the memories are absolutely priceless.

Thanks for reminding me of that.

Deidra said...

No matter where you are in life, and no matter how much you've prepared, it's a big deal when your children reach the age when they spread their wings and fly. Your words remind me of myself a few short years ago when my children were leaving for the first time. I think it gets easier as you go, though. Embrace the emotions related to what is ending, but also get ready to embrace the future. All of it is good. All of it.

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

I loved this post!I'm so touched!
Happy birthday and happy anniversary!
You look gorgeous in that photo with your dad!
Sending love nad hugs your way!
XX

Joanna Jenkins said...

You were such a beautiful bride. Thanks for sharing the photo.

I know exactly how you feel. Time marches on and there's no turning back.

Happy almost birthday and anniversary.
xo

Holly said...

Your post is beautiful...it really encompassed my feelings toward those days as well. I love he celebration, but the melancholy does set in when I think about the memories of past days.

Kimberly said...

Oh, this really touched me. I often think of the days when the kids were so little, and we used to watch Madeline together. My son would get up at 5:30 am to watch that show. (I don't record shows)

5thsister said...

Hey Sweetie...I don't know how I missed this post. I am finding that, at my age, introspection has gone much deeper and further than ever before. It is a challenging time for sure. I find it comforting that I am not alone. I think it is just part of life. I was just thinking this this morning, as Bethany was driving (YES DRIVING) to school, how very soon she would be off chasing her own dreams and rainbows! Sigh.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I know exactly what you mean. Although my kids are still little, I get a little twinge when I realize how fast 6 years have gone by.

I wish there was a way to stop time and re-visit certain times of our lives. What I wouldn't give to re-live some of those moments.

Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

Hello Willoughby! I found you through the blog, Better than Cured and am so happy to have found you. I LOVE your visuals as well as your way with words. I will visit often, it will be such a nice addition to my day.

Happy Belated birthday.

I enjoyed your post on recipes. Yesterday I was in the kitchen and made 3 different kinds of cookies and another batch of homemade bread. As I did so, I shared with my 7-year-old grandson why I went through so much work; it was a lesson on homemade versus preservative-laden foods. I was exhausted at day's end but slept peacefully knowing I'd created foods to share with my love as part of the mix.

Have a great day and keep writing your wonderful posts.