When I was in preschool, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to ride the school bus. In first grade, I looked forward to being in fourth grade, because they performed plays for the first graders. Then I couldn’t wait to be ten, because that meant double digits, and playing school sports. But twelve was the age to go for, because then I could shave my legs and wear make up.
Of course, I couldn’t wait to be 13, and be an official teenager. As a sophomore in high school, I was already counting down the days until graduation. It seemed like a lifetime to wait until I was 16, and could date, and drive (after a couple driving tests). Then I wanted to be 18, so I could be an official adult, vote, and make my own decisions.
I hurried through college, biding my time until I could be part of the “real world.” By the time I was 21, I had married and would graduate college within weeks. I couldn’t wait to have children, though, and be a mom.
When I had children, I treasured each moment, but looked forward to weaning them, to understanding what they said, to potty-training.
Now, my children are old enough to dress themselves, feed themselves, walk home from the bus stop, even be left alone for a short time. I find myself at a tipping point between youth and age, wondering what has happened to the last decade, wanting to have accomplished so much more by this time, and worrying about the precious few years I have left when my children actually want to spend time with me.
I find myself wishing for more time to get everything done, and no longer look forward to growing older and reaching new milestones (except maybe retirement). I have to create events to look forward to, so that life isn’t just a giant treadmill. I have to get serious about setting goals and beginning new habits, because, to be completely cliche, I’m not getting any younger.
Time is a precious gift. I aim to use it more wisely… and not wish life away.