I always thought that, as you aged, life would slow down. I remember thinking how old my grandparents were when I was a teenager, now realizing they were younger than I am now. Looking back, life seemed to move at a slower pace when I was growing up. My parents, like most back then, didn’t sign my sister and I up for a slew of after-school activities. I took ballet/tap one day a week. I also had piano lessons, but the teacher came to our house. In fifth grade, I took violin lessons, but amazingly, they were given at school. We actually had an orchestra there. We were probably terrible, but our parents acted like we could perform at Carnegie Hall.
When our eldest daughter was five, she started taking dance lessons. It was doable as it was once a week and her two-year-old sister didn’t mind going along. As the years passed and we were now a family of five, life got a bit more hectic as afternoon activities started adding up. All three girls were in dance classes, but never at the same time. Different sports practices for each of them always started at different times, and my car seemed to be on the road more than it was at home. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration, but it felt that way at the time.
Now, I watch as my daughters seem to be keeping the roads hot driving their children around to all their events. I was worn out just listening to our eldest daughter’s afternoon of picking up two children and getting each of them somewhere before time to get another one somewhere else. Unfortunately, they live in Charlotte, so I can’t help her out. Fortunately for her, she is very organized and always makes it work. Her husband owns his own company, so he comes to her aid when occasionally she needs to be in two places at once.
Living close to our other daughters’ families, I love when they ask if I, sometimes we, can stay with their children. They always preface it by saying, “I have a big favor to ask you.” It bothers me that they think it’s a favor, but I understand that they don’t want to assume I can help. The truth is, one of the reasons we moved here was to be close to them if, or when, they needed us. I love being needed and am not ready to slow down – it keeps me young!
I decided to look back at the 2023 calendar to see what made the year seem to fly by. What I discovered was something that I should have known all along. The months filled with family comings and goings were not only the quickest, but also the most cherished. It was the blank space days that were slow. This year has given me so many wonderful memories on which to reflect. It also made me realize that the slow days were of my own making. It is up to me to decide whether I need a lazy day to regroup or a day that has me on the go.
I already know this last month of the year is going to keep me busy. It is a continuation of November and, as I loved Thanksgiving, I look forward to what each day will bring leading up to Christmas. It will start with our annual reverse advent calendar shopping with a couple of the grandchildren. They love picking out the food items and delivering them to the food bank before Christmas.
Whatever your traditions, I hope this time of the year brings you memories to last a lifetime, filled with peace, faith, love and joy. I am looking forward to a year filled with the same!