Today is Ray Kroc’s birthday – did you go to McDonald’s to celebrate? It is also Improve Your Office Day. I wonder what Ray Kroc’s office looked like?
During my travels this weekend, I had a lot of windshield time, with very limited radio reception, which is always a good opportunity to contemplate life. Among the things I gave thought to were:
Why do we have dogs as pets, and how did that start?
What do you DO when you live in the middle of nowhere?
What is going to happen in 2012 (and as a follow-up last night, Kelsea asked me why there were so many movies about the end of the world in 2012. I think I should ask Theresa her opinions about that.)
Why are all drivers except me so incredibly stupid?
How do entire towns come to die?
What am I going to do when this contract is up?
I could, and probably will, write on any and all of these topics. But today, I choose to write on the topic of age and time, because it kept coming up over the weekend.
I am of the opinion that we are all always every age. I’ll sometimes joke with Kelsea about this. She said this morning that she can never remember how old I am, so she hedges on the low side. I told her that was always a wise idea when speculating on a woman’s age or weight.
At any rate, I have noticed particularly since I’ve been a mom that I sometimes parallel Kelsea’s age. That’s what made me such a good playmate for her when she was little-little. I could play dinosaurs, or Harry Potter, or restaurant, for hours. I could make bath toys talk (and sometimes they would argue with each other, which was really creepy). I made up voices and characters by the dozens. I found my inner child, and sometimes she would get sulky if Kelsea didn’t want to play her way. But I almost felt more like a child with her than I did when I was a child myself, when I was always in a hurry to grow up, and wasn’t kind of pissed off about being here in the first place.
I remember my Mother coming into my room when I was about 14, sitting down on the bed and bursting into tears – which was something she almost NEVER did – and saying that I was 14 and she was almost 50 and I was older than she was. She was not lamenting my excessive maturity, but her own sense of missing cosmic wisdom, which I never saw. I always considered her completely capable, sound, and a spiritual role model. As a mom myself now, I sometimes feel the same way about Kelsea. She seems so much wiser now than I have ever been. Interesting. Perhaps it’s a generational legacy of some sort.
I can feel as young as Kelsea (or younger). I can relive moments (some that I don’t want to) as if I were actually there. I spend most of my time these days feeling like I’m in my early 20’s, likely because so many things are changing and my life is opening before me, heading in unknown directions. Every so often, physical reality catches up to me, in the form of pain from the cold, or a bad mirror, and I recall my real age. And some days, I feel as old as the Blue Ridge, tired, settling, still growing, but worn down by the years I’ve seen for eons.
But I’m as comfortable hanging out with most infants and most seniors as I am with my peers. I’m so not the typical Rock Creek mom that I am comfortable hanging with Kelsea and her friends on occasion. (I know the time is coming where SHE won’t be comfortable with this.)
Guess as with many things, I’m all over the map. And I don’t mind a bit.
My Mother was always amazed when she looked in the mirror – she didn’t know who that old woman was looking back at her. Despite her cancer, she felt inside as if she were still in her 20’s – just as I do now.
Enough about age. Now, onto time. They are related, you know, though exactly how I have yet to figure out. It’s not as obvious as it might seem.
Time warps exist. I’m convinced of it. We’ve all become such slaves to time and clocks and deadlines that we have locked ourselves into a certain reality of time. I myself haven’t worn a watch in years, though I still mostly wake up to an alarm clock.
Have you ever noticed how sometimes a trip that takes 5 minutes feels like it has taken 15? Or how the sign said 32 miles, but it took you an hour and a half to get there? I am an occasional practitioner of time control. I firmly believe in playing with time. I’ve practiced making minutes stretch when I need to be someplace and don’t have enough time to get there. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
That curious phenomenon called “Island Time” is perfectly compatible with my philosophy that time is both relative and fluid. Depending on how you choose to play them, days on vacation, and particularly on an island, can last forever, or can go by in a blink. I choose the forever path. I can spend four days on an island and feel like I’ve been gone for 10. On one trip where I was gone for 13 days, I felt as if I’d been gone a month. Is it that there is no prescribed time for most things, with the possible exception of ferries? And even then, if you miss one, another soon come? (Or if not, you wind up spending a night on another island – boo hoo.) You eat when you’re hungry, you drink when you’re thirsty, you sleep when you’re sleepy. It gives time a totally different quality.
I need to get my ideas more clearly thought out before I write more about time. Is it possible that it’s ALREADY time for another road trip???