34 In inspire/ life

chasing time + remembering to play.

The days are long, but the years are short.

I never realized just how true that statement was until this past year. I swear I blinked, and we were ringing in another new year. Most days crawled at a snail’s pace – and were often measured in it’s-only-11a?!-can-I-eat-lunch-yet?! – but the year… damn… where did it go?!

Time is a funny thing. As triathletes, we race against the clock, constantly checking our Garmins for pace, pushing harder for a PR, to hold higher watts and shave a few seconds off a 200. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a crazy goal time for Ironman Wisconsin already occupying nearly every training thought. 

And, in my non-triathlete life, the one that I hold next to my heart, time twists and turns and moves at warp speed when I wish it would slow down (even just a bit). Visiting with my grandparents at Christmas, it was painfully clear my cousins and I are no longer the kids who raced around the elementary school gym for hours and begged to open gifts after gagging down lutefisk. We’ve somehow magically turned into adults with jobs and families and graying hair. The nostalgia for those little kid days, the wonder of each one… it makes my heart ache a bit.

Time is fleeting and elusive. And, though it cannot stand still (as much as we try to make it), it teaches us to enjoy and savor each moment. Cherish the time with your grandparents; put down your phone and listen to their wisdom (and, put down your phone when you’re talking to anyone!). Soak up the mundane, everyday life moments because those are what life’s all about. Embrace the intervals on the trainer and each finish line, even if the race didn’t go as planned because you know what? You showed up and kept going when it sucked.

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw is right. Play keeps us young – even if it’s just young at heart. At 85, my Grandpa is the perfect example. He still gets down on the floor to play with his great-grandchildren; the sight of him and my 11-month-old niece Finley playing together at Christmas is priceless.

So… SOAK. IT. UP! Savor every single moment no matter how trivial it may be. Be present in those moments. Remember to play, every day. Because in a blink, another year – five years – will have passed.

play

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  • Kecia
    01/06/2014 at 8:05 am

    AWESOME Erin!! I LOVE the picture of your grandfather on the floor playing :) That is exactly what my grandfather did and why he lived to nearly 96 years young. Remembering to play and have fun should be everyone’s #1 priority.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks, Kecia! So awesome your grandpa lived to be 96… lots of happy life :)

  • Amanda I
    01/06/2014 at 9:31 am

    Amen Erin! I love reminders that even though we are busy, we need to spend time with the ones we love. :) Loved this post!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you, Amanda!

  • Shannon @ Mon Amour
    01/06/2014 at 9:31 am

    Great post :) The last month this has become even more clear to me. I am suddenly longing for the days when I was a kid and the magic that is Christmas when you are 8 years old. It’s crazy how fast time moves once you get older.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:36 pm

      It moves faster every year… a good reminder to be present in every moment. Thank you, Shannon!

  • Emily Dingmann (@nutritionisteat)
    01/06/2014 at 11:52 am

    I LOVE this post Erin! Such an important reminder.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Emily!

  • swimmykimy
    01/06/2014 at 12:13 pm

    Oh my goodness, I feel the same exact way. My husband and I split the holidays among our families, and his sister has three little ones and the difference between adult Christmas and children’s Christmas was so much more apparent than I have ever noticed before! I spent the majority of Christmas day coloring and playing with my nieces and it brought me so much joy. Thanks for the reminder and I am definitely going to use that second quote about playing – it’s so true! So glad you had a nice holiday!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:44 pm

      Coloring is the best – especially outside the lines :) Glad you were able to spend the holidays with your families! Thanks, Kim!

  • hyedi
    01/06/2014 at 12:19 pm

    What a beautiful post and such a great reminder :) Happy Monday, friend!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you, dear!

  • Beth
    01/06/2014 at 1:25 pm

    Oh Erin, this is so so so spot on. Time passes so quickly and in the blink of an eye it’s a new day, new month, new year. I love seeing your grandpa playing on the floor. That is so sweet.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:52 pm

      Thanks, Beth! It passes SO quickly… a good reminder to be present in all moments, even the small ones :)

  • Danielle @ I Eat Therefore I Run
    01/06/2014 at 1:50 pm

    What a great post! And such a good perspective too. We as adults can play, just in different ways. I think our tendency to pack too much into a day and rush to the next thing takes away our ability to enjoy the activity and be in the moment. Life needs to be slower :)

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:52 pm

      It really does need to be slower, Danielle! But, play does keep us young :) Thank you!

  • kendra
    01/06/2014 at 3:09 pm

    What a great reminder! Especially as a mom on these cold days when I want nothing to do with another day stuck inside with crazy kids :)!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you, Kendra!

  • Abby @ Change of Pace
    01/06/2014 at 3:12 pm

    This is such a beautiful and well-written post, Erin. Thank you for it.
    I can relate- at 10am I’m wondering why the day is so long as I start to eat my lunch. But at home and with my family and friends? It kind of scares me how fast that time goes.
    I really noticed this at Christmas, too. My one Grandma is 82 and the other will be 89 in March. I’m trying to visit, or at least call, them more often.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you, Abby! I know, right?! Why do days at home pass so much more quickly than those in the office?! That’s wonderful you still have both your grandmas… I hope you’re close drive away! There’s nothing like visiting with grandparents :)

  • Beth
    01/06/2014 at 4:37 pm

    What a lovely post. It’s a good reminder to stop and be grateful for today.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:56 pm

      Today and everyday. Thank you, Beth!

  • Amy
    01/06/2014 at 6:22 pm

    It looks like you have a very fun family. I’m definitely happier now that I have learned how to slow down and enjoy every moment.

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 1:57 pm

      Slowing down and being present makes such a big difference on the happiness levels… glad you’ve found it! Thanks… we have a fun crazy family :)

  • Julia
    01/07/2014 at 1:16 pm

    Hey happy new year Erin! Yes to all of this. I cant tell anyone how to live their lives but i do sometimes think we spend too much time worrying about things we think we can control ( pace, watts, speed) and not enough time appreciating the people in our lives EVERY day. Glad you are sleeping in, watching the snow fall or ( freeze) and soon enough you can hit it hard to reach those goals for Wisc!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 2:00 pm

      You are SO right, Julia! Life is all about spending time with your loved ones :) Thank you!

  • Kristen L
    01/07/2014 at 3:15 pm

    Oh wow! So so true! Now that I live so far away from my family, I really try to cherish all the time I do get to spend with them. Thank you for the reminder. I’m so glad to hear you had a wonderful holiday with your family!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you, Kristen! I hope you’re able to make it home often to visit them :)

  • Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
    01/07/2014 at 10:56 pm

    I love this! You have to live every day like its your last! I try to remind myself of that MOST days!

    • erin
      01/19/2014 at 2:01 pm

      Me, too… every day! Thank you, Leslie!

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