I feel like the older I’ve gotten, the faster time passes me by. The months and years, anymore, are a complete and total blur. It's like those towns that only have one street light; you blink, and suddenly, it's gone. One day I’m taking down my Christmas decorations, and in the next, I’m putting them right back up (with over-the-top-Christmas-glee, I should mention).
And, YOU GUYS, I have nieces and nephews that are in HIGH SCHOOL and one in COLLEGE. Stop growing! I also have wrinkles, and a sore back, and my EYES. What is happening to my eyes? I have to hold a book farther away now, just so I can read those teeny, tiny words. How can this be???
I hear people saying constantly, “I don’t know where the time goes”. I utter those words now and then as well, but in all honesty, I know exactly where my time is spent. It’s spent on social media, in meetings, running errands, working a full time and a part time job, attending events, etc. There’s no mystery to how my 24 hours in a day are allocated. I wake up every Monday morning to thoughts of Friday afternoon. What an oxymoron. I’m wishing the weeks away, but yet, I want time to slow down? Sadly, I can’t have it both ways.
Last month, I went to visit with my spiritual mentor, who I’ve met with on a monthly basis for about the last three years. (He just happens to be a priest, but that’s not a requirement to having a mentor.) Anyway, the poor guy didn't know what he was getting into when he agreed to take me on. He's been through the gamut. He's allowed me to pour my heart out to him, speak in constant and confusing circles from one appointment to the next, and pepper him with unexpected questions. At our last meeting, though, he asked me a question. He was curious to know if I considered myself an introvert or an extrovert, and ever since then, I have been chewing on my answer. I immediately responded that I was an extrovert. I've bungee-jumped my way into unfamiliar situations many times in my life, and I’ve weathered the ability to meet and often become friends, with strangers. I find great joy in connecting with people and finding that common, one-on-one denominator.
However, Father threw me for a loop (as he usually does) and said that what really distinguishes an introvert from an extrovert is by what energizes them. In other words, are we energized by being an expressive and outgoing person, or rather, are we fueled by our time in solitude?
Armed with that knowledge, I am certain of this. Without a doubt, I am an introvert - the type of person that needs to decompress from the world in order to step back into it. I am a self-professed thinker, processor, and muddler of all things important and also, inconsequential. I love to interact, but I also love to be still. For example, my favorite day of the week is Sunday, not because I get to go to work the following day, but because Sunday is my own, personal Sabbath. Sunday’s are the peanut butter to my jelly and the cheese to my macaroni; I puffy-heart love them. They must include the most minimal of activities, such as attending mass, coffee, and then lots of napping, reading, and napping once again. In fact, I get a little stressed and anxious when I have actual, adult-ish things I need to accomplish or attend to on Sunday’s because I want to remove myself for just one day from a life of should's and have-to's and need-to's.
In the past, I’ve always felt a little guilty for doing what makes me content and gives me peace. But when time is as fleeting as it is, why shouldn't I carpe diem? Because time will continue to slip us by. We will grow older and our kids will grow older and one day, we will sit back and wonder at how we got where we did. We will wish we had taken more Sunday’s to breathe in the quiet and sweet gentleness of a day well-spent, being still and present in this very moment.
After all, if we don't stop now, then when?