My time warp began with the onset of contractions. Over the years I labored to give birth to multiple children. When my children were young I looked forward to unwrapping the gift of seconds, minutes, and hours each day without the use of a wristwatch. Since I consider myself part of an ancient civilization with my prehistoric ways it just goes without saying that telling time by looking up at the sky to see the position of the sun was my thing.
One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock, let’s rock around the clock tonight. I rocked my kids to sleep thinking that eventually the hands of time would come back around and I would be peacefully rocking myself on a porch when the kids grew up. Well, some of them are officially adults now and I would prefer that time went backwards, because then maybe I would have more of it. The clock has dealt me a sleight of hand, amazing me with how much less time I have now that the kids are grown. Why? Because, no matter what their age, they are still calling out Moooom, can you…. while I am rushing around trying to complete a dozen different chores or errands. Those feedings every four hours are looking like the good old days when time went slow. The crying may have pierced my ears but when morning came I still had time to put in earrings!
Back in my sleep deprivation days I used to look forward to rise and shine with one eye open, but now I have a tendency to squeeze my eyes shut to block out the tarnished shine of the numbers that own me. The only time I don’t mind clocking is the hours on my timesheet at work. I’m thinking that I would love to be put in a time out like Denice the Menace for doing something wrong. In my beleaguered state of mind if I was put in a corner I could relax and have some ME TIME.
It seems as if my college graduate is ready to embrace that very same idea after only a few months of joining the workforce and doing the daily bus grind to New York City. He repeatedly moans to me that life is passing him by, and at 22 he is almost 30 and has no time to even write out deposit tickets for checks that he asks me to take to the bank! He insists that there is no time to do laundry or hang out with friends on weeknights because his commute and job take up 12 hours a day, five days a week. While this notion is absurd and ludicrous I believe that there is a hint of truth in his tirade, because I rant about the same predicament.
For the past 27 years my job has been 24/7, so where was my extra curricular time? Weekends are just not long enough for me or my son. Please, God, can you add another day to the week or more hours to the day? Well, if God had the time after answering an ongoing list of prayers, maybe.
It is more like the town of Bedrock than Happy Days when you feel as if you are at the beck and call of an analog clock. So, in an attempt to catch up I have cut corners on this square, only to discover that I am riding a never ending ferris wheel in my attempt to take care of a family, but it is my son who has no time. The quicksand of adulthood means accepting transitions and shifting priorities. We have to be professional about it and get out the wrench to make the adjustments. This approach requires that my son step down in order to step up and out. Living at home for a year to pay off college loans brings out the “woe is me attitude” that makes everyone’s life miserable. Watching him prioritize his life can get pretty ugly, so maybe it’s a blessing if he has less time to overthink. My Peter Pan would probably be happier if he could eat up time like Tick Tock the crocodile and live in Never Never Land forever. But the reality is that time is an animal and learning how to manage it brings out the beauty in the beast.