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Column: Time flies when you don't purposely slow down

3:10 PM, Jun. 6, 2013  |  Comments
Mystique Macomber
Mystique Macomber
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Whew.

As you read this, I've wrapped up the last of a month of commitments - parties, graduations, confirmation, even a funeral.

As I write this, I've just finished celebrating my son's 17th birthday. A short 48 hours earlier we marked my daughter's graduation from eighth grade.

My husband's cousin graduated from high school, which warranted a trip to Green Bay. My cousin's daughter's graduation fell on a day I had to work, so we missed that one. I've been to a former coworker's Memorial Day gathering, my daughter's confirmation and party, a Mother's Day meal with extended family, my mother-in-law's brother's funeral.

I have one child who still has a half day of school Monday. My time driving kids to school is over - mostly. But soon, the children's drama production rehearsals will begin in earnest, and while I won't have to drive every day, it's still a consideration when the weather is bad. (Who keeps asking for rain?)

And then we'll have more holidays, honest-to-goodness vacations for me and my family, more play stuff, the Whodunit at Historic Point Basse, a concert or two, then fall sports start, and school orientation and school and, and, and.

It's easy to get going so fast you don't notice where you are or what you're doing.

When you're a kid, time stretches out seemingly forever.

As an adult, you blink and wonder where the years have gone.

A few years ago, I realized time was passing me by too quickly. I felt rushed all the time, and I didn't enjoy anything. I seemed always to be looking to the next thing to do.

I guess that's human nature. We look forward to the next fun thing, the next project, the next weekend. When it's Monday and you're wishing it's Friday, you know you're not having a good week. And you're only wishing your life away at an even faster pace as you rush to get to the next thing.

So, I decided consciously to slow down. I know time passes at exactly the same speed, but our perception of it varies. The old adage "Time flies when you're having fun" is true in a sense.

I've heard too many people talk about how life passes by so quickly. I realized I was experiencing that, too. I wanted to enjoy more of my life, to really experience it rather than looking for the next thing to do.

So, I started to think more about enjoying the moment. Every day when I'd wake up, I'd think about what one cool thing I would see or do that day.

Usually, I didn't know what it would be. I would set out to look for something interesting, unusual, beautiful, funny or strange. And I'd know it when I saw it. I'd be happy that I had experienced it, whatever it was.

It might have been a sunrise or sunset, something someone said or did. It might have been a perfect cup of cappuccino or a nice glass of wine with dinner. Often it was related to nature - a cardinal flashing through the trees, before pausing to whistle his hello; a rose or iris just opening its petals to reveal the hues hidden inside; the blue of the sky that we only see in Wisconsin in the summer.

And I'd delight in those things - seemingly little things that would make me slow down and be grateful for the experience.

Yes, I still had work at work and work at home. That never goes away. But I didn't want my life to be a blur. It's easy to let one day blend into the next and the next, with nothing to break up the monotony. It's strange how that can seem to make time go so quickly.

But you can't live life from weekend to weekend, from one event to the next. It drains you, and you tend to miss the beauty in everyday life.

I can't say I always follow my own advice. The last few weeks have seemed much more stressful because of the volume of events, activities and commitments. I haven't always made time for a walk with the dog (especially with the rain). I haven't promised myself every morning I'd find something cool to experience that day. There even have been mornings I've been too busy for coffee or breakfast.

But today is another day, and I can promise it will be a good one - if I take time for it.

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
574 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
856 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1015 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

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