I can now check off the one and only item on my bucket list…a family vacation – daughter, son, their spouses, our grandchildren, RC and I all enjoying time together at a destination free from everyday-life interruptions and responsibilities. I always imagined it would be in a warm, sunny spot, and I am so grateful it indeed, turned out to be that way.
Last August RC and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. Our children and their spouses gifted us with a wonderful family trip to the Turks and Caicos islands. Since August in Minnesota provides us with reasonable weather – warm, sunny – and January/February often does not – cold, snowy, icy – we planned for the trip to this tropical location to happen in January. A perfect escape from winter!
I had five plus months to dream about this upcoming vacation. I knew the planning/anticipating time would go by very quickly; and, I also knew the vacation time would be over in a flash. I was so spot on!
Now, here I sit a week and a half after returning from this fabulous trip – stunned that it is all over and done. A pleasant memory. Instead of watching the sun set into the ocean, I watch if from my living room easy chair, as it sets down through the barren trees and behind my neighbor’s house. Life is back to being routine. Not a bad thing, but I find myself grieving for a great week that passed by so quickly.
I’ve always heard that the older you get, the faster time flies by. It certainly does seem that way to me. I read something the other day that provided a good explanation for why this seems to happen. In essence, by the time we are in our last half of life (maybe even before) our lives are mostly filled with routine and predictable happenings. Because they are so routine, we can’t even remember what we had for dinner last Sunday! The blogger (sorry, I don’t remember what blog I was reading) suggested the way to overcome time flying by was to make sure we are enjoying new experiences – learning something new, seeing something new, participating in a new group, eating new foods, trying new exercise – you get the idea. He or she said the newness of whatever the activity may be would make the experience stand out (shaking up our routine) and help us to remember it and in turn, make it seem like time wasn’t passing us by.
Vacationing in Turks and Caicos was definitely a new experience for me and I will always have wonderful memories of this trip; and though it passed by way too quickly, maybe the point is if we string together enough new experiences we will be jostled out of our routines and our lives will seem to move at a more leisurely pace, or at least will be more fulfilling.
A friend recently commented that at his age (same as me), he thinks to himself at the end of the day – ” another day gone by that I won’t get back; another day closer to the end!” I often find myself thinking that same thought, only I think of it in seconds and minutes passing that I will never get back.
Those are morbid thoughts – rather, I intend to begin thinking of how I might find new activities I can enjoy to shake up my routine. I’d like to think I have a good 15-20 more years of life ahead of me. Beginning now, I am going to do my best to make the most of those years, creating pleasant memories and SLOWING TIME DOWN!