“Time passes so slowly if you are unaware of it and so quickly if you are aware of it.” Marc Bolan
Time flies. Isn’t that the cliché that everyone uses. Of course clichés usually become so because of the truth within them. Recently I found myself explaining to someone that my life could be divided into segments. The segments were long and consistent for thirty-three years, but then I was thirty-three and everything changed. That’s when I made a decision with my life that many didn’t agree with nor understand, and the segments of my life became short, choppy, and I’m acutly aware of how quickly time has passed since.
Seven years ago I found myself divorced and uncertain of who I was when I could no longer define myself as a wife. I knew I needed something in that first year, so I created the idea of thirty three experiences in my thirty third year. That year, this segment, served as a reminder of who I was and in some instances, who I wasn’t. From a psychic to rock climbing, I tried whatever I’d put off to another day because of time, because of fear, because my ex-husband didn’t approve. I don’t regret any of it.
I haven’t had a year like it before or since, and it has sparked an adventurous side to my personality that I’d forgotten existed. It also gave me the idea of a yearly bucket list that I could continue to experience all life had to offer.
But the year ended, and the next one followed and with each year of my life circumstances began to change and the segments varied greatly from single to dating to married. In today’s segment, the experiences I have are picking my boys up from the gym every day, driving my daughter to dancing multiple times a week, and the occasional watching a child’s performance at an athletic event. If I’m lucky, there’s school drama, friend drama, and homework questions. There’s loud talking and play fighting; Messy rooms and parties to attend. All things that I know that the days are numbered on because the children have all become teenagers. I’m always surprised when they gather around me in the living room to talk, and I hope they never reach that age where these moments stop. But I know that this segment of life will be over as quickly as others.
It is like Jean Paul said: “The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.” What I see now is that I want my children to learn to live the way I have come to live—with an adventurous spirit and a drive to not just exist. As I’ve tried to fit this in between school open houses and school dances, I’ve realized that there are different kinds of experiences. Some that can be planned and some you have to allow to happen. Both are equally valuable in what they offer, but I’m still a proponent of seeking out experiences as a way to live my life. I figure with a significant birthday coming up, it’s time I begin making plans. When I was 33, it was because I needed to find myself among all that I’d lost. Now as I turn 40, it is to not lose myself in the day to day. So I’m building a list and looking for suggestions as the idea of 40 experiences at 40 sounds more insurmountable than when I was thirty three. So what experiences would you put on a list?