As the new year begins, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and a tinge of sadness. Usually I feel energized and inspired to try new things! make resolutions! etc. This year, I have that clichéd feeling of wanting to stop time and savour this moment just a little longer. It is not clear to me where these feelings are coming from. But likely it has something to do with having one child on the verge of adolescence, one child who is clearly no longer a “little girl”, and a youngest child who has only the vestiges of that little boy innocence energetic love of his parents left. As well, my grandmother and parents are becoming more frail and obviously older and a good friend suddenly lost her father over the holidays. All these wonderful moments feel very, very fleeting. It is all changing so very fast.
I have become painfully aware of the passing of time this year. And it is not comfortable! Looking at my children, I am filled with worries and possibly even regret: did I spend enough time cuddling my oldest when he was 6? Answer: probably not, because the other 2 kids were 3 and 1. Why don’t I read to my 8-year-old in bed anymore? Answer: she is such an avid reader she wants to read to herself. Why didn’t I spend any time building Lego this Christmas? Answer: no one needed my help this year and also, I was too busy unpacking things in our house after our major renovation. Everyone is growing up and changing as they should and as I hoped that they would. And yet…
We had a great family holiday and we spent lots of time together as a family. We went skating, skiing, to them movies, visiting family, and playing board games. But it just feels like I didn’t spend enough time really looking at my family and really listening to them. I feel like I haven’t spent enough time “just being” with these very important and ever-changing people.
I will be honest, I am hopeful these feelings are a passing phase and I will soon feel the usual “New Year Spring in my Step”. But I am going to try to hold on to the lesson: slow down, be present, take the time to just “be”.
The Buddha said “The trouble is, you think you have time”. I think I really did think I had more time with babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, youthful parents, etc. I don’t know how, but I am going to try not to make that mistake going forward.