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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wormhole

I experienced quite a shock recently while riding around in the car with Trent. I flipped down the sun visor because, well, there was a lot of sun glaring in my eyes. And then I saw it. "Oh, no, honey! I think we need to call the police!" "Why, honey, what happened?" I answered, "Some old woman stole my neck and left hers behind!" We had a good chuckle over it, but it's true. Exaggerated, but true. It reminds me of Dolly Parton's line in Steel Magnolias about time marching on and eventually you realize it's marching over your face. I have never been much of one to worry about the visible aging process. It just comes as sort of a surprise when you start to notice it happening to you. I am just starting to get a little softer around the edges. My skin isn't getting less elastic; the world's eyeglasses just need to be tuned up. 

Remember when  you were a kid and time used to just drag along? You were lucky if you didn't starve to death before it was time for you to have lunch at school. I remember one year in Junior High School when I had English class just before lunch. I was the butt of a lot of jokes because my stomach growled so loud during class that people two seats over could hear it. And the time from the start of the school year until Christmas was interminable, to say nothing of the long stretch until summer vacation. Then the long days of playing hard and coming home after the streetlights came on, and falling asleep as soon as your head hit the pillow. You'd hear adults talking to each other and saying how time flies and you thought they were crazy.

Then you got older. Suddenly you found time slipping through your fingers like sand at the beach. After a hard week at work, you'd wake up on Saturday morning, walk across the room to read the newspaper, and suddenly realize it was Sunday night. It's easier as an adult than as a child to believe in wormholes ripped in the fabric of time. Is it because we have so many things we have to do? Did our parents find time rushing by because they were busy packing lunches and driving us around and trying to find time between work and taking care of us to simply catch their breath? Did our perspective change just because we got taller?

Whether or not we understand the vagaries of time, it still keeps on flying by. Before we know it, the years start piling up behind us. We may still have the energy and joie de vivre that we always had, but our bodies know what our brains may not. There's that one knee that feels like it needs an oil change. Or your hair gets some natural highlights and they're grey. Or the backache that comes around whenever the weather changes. Or the old lady who slips quietly into your house while you're asleep, and switches your neck...