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.