Tomorrow is December. That is crazy.
When I was a kid, older folks would always tell me, "Wait until you're my age. Time goes by so fast!" I always thought that sounded kind of sad, but I assumed life wouldn't start speeding up until I was, like, fifty.
No, it's speeding up now.
We say it every year, but I can't believe Christmas is so close. Wasn't I just stuffing my mouth with gingerbread cookies and fudge? I'm not that old, time shouldn't be going so fast! Stop this train.
As I've realized all of this, I've started to ask myself how I'm spending my days. Annie Dillard once said, “How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing.” Truer words have never been uttered.
This is life, this is it. And for better or for worse, it's going really, really fast. I'm frightened by it. I've been waking up late at night thinking about it! It's almost like the speed of life jolts me awake.
I no longer believe that I have "all the time in the world" and I can't make choices without seriously considering the long-term consequences. I've started to wonder if I do this now, what will be the result five years from now? It's not that I've become wiser this past year, but I have become more aware.
You'd think this type of realization would be reserved for illness or tragedy, right? I guess not. After reading her latest book, I know that Sheryl Sandberg would label my recent realizations as "pre-traumatic growth." And she's not wrong. I've begun to grow out of a sincere desire to make my life and more importantly, my days, count.
Thirty-two days until 2018. Let's make that time count.
photography by Liz Brown.