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Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Time to Slap Time Upside the Face

I've been thinking a lot about the circle of life lately. Mostly I'd like to know what its point is and how it is happening so fast.

Today I was walking with my grown-up kid and my almost-grown-up kid on a college campus, right before we left to for the wedding reception of one of my daughter's friends. And we passed a woman making googly moogly eyes at her barely-out-of-the-womb baby boy. On the other side of the hall was a couple who were celebrating their 200th wedding anniversary.

Whoa.

That's a whole lot of generations and milestones all packed together in one place.

It was really deep and profound and stuff. And then I realized something: The Universe had a message for me. And that message was this: Dude. You are OLD. You did that whole marriage-thing that your daughter's friend is doing, like twenty-five years ago. And that two-week-old baby? Four of them popped out of you in succession like little cabbage patch dolls trying to make their way out of a McDonald's PlayLand--leaving you in varying states of pulled, stretched, floppy, lined, and sleep-deprived, I might add--about a thousand years ago. Yep. It's been that long.

Which means there's just a week or two until you and your husband will be celebrating your bicentennial together. Right after your last kid will have just graduated from medical school. (Someone's going to have to warn him about this, though. The boy hates the sight of even a piece of paper that is thinking about committing a paper cut and raising a drop of blood.)

All of which means I must ask this: Where the Stephen-Hawking did all that time go? And given how quickly my time seems to be passing, how much do I have left?

Well, I don't know. But I do know that the way my circle of life is going, if I don't get a few things done, and quickly, they ain't happening. I don't want my kids to be cleaning up my office after my funeral and opening a drawer to find an unfinished manuscript sitting there. Or a finished one that was never queried.

I don't want them finding manila folders full of recipes that have "Try This" scrawled across the top.

I don't want them finding stacks of travel brochures to places I've never been, like Kuala Lampur, or Scotland, stuffed between the pages of the adventure books I've never read.

Above all, I don't want my kidlets feeling a hole where all the things I haven't taught them yet should be sitting.

No regrets. That's what I want. And that means embracing life all the way. Not hanging back. It means grabbing the needle from the nurse who is fishing in my arm and jabbing it in myself--á la Russo. It means joining a made-up language choir and hopping a flight to Middle Earth if I need a bit of New Zealand in my life, á la Maegan. It means querying my humor book and finishing my either-middle-grade-or-YA-book-I-can't-tell-yet, and getting it out to agents, á la . . . well . . . me.

Because, this year, I am going to embrace. People. Life. Me.

You do it too. Then report back here and let me know what you learn. We'll chat. I'll pour the lemonade. We'll slap the Circle of Life so hard Father Time will slow down and fill our lives with success. Deal?

Deal.


12 comments:

Darcee Yates said...

Janiel,

Thanks for the pick me up. I think you crawled inside my head while I was sleeping( sitting up in a jumpseat, eyes wide open and bloodshot) and saw everything I was thinking.

I feel like the pitcher in the baseball of life just knocked me down this week with a crazy Ivan curve ball. Time to stand up, dust off the red dirt, step up to the plate and swing.

I'll race you to the finish. You and I both need to finish our books. We are way too talented not to and the world needs our words.

Darcee

mymy said...

sometimes in moments of lucidity i ask myself this: "What have i been doing all these years!!"

...then reality sets back in. :D

Bonny said...

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I am your newest follower.
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Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I think this is a beautiful declaration!! I hope to do the same, except for maybe the Middle Earth part because Sauron really creeps me out.

Beth@Wiccan Make Some Too said...

Know what? You are not old ...you are seasoned. Consider yourself a fine wine....getting better with age.

Janiel Miller said...

Thank you very much! Darcee, I'm sorry you've had a rough week. The race is ON, honey! Thanks for the encouragement.

MyMy: Don't you hate reality? :)

Bonnie: Welcone!

Carolina: Thank you, and I agree. Sauron is a creep. How about Scotland instead?

Beth: Seasoned! I like that. Thanks!

William Kendall said...

Strictly speaking... I think the kids might want to have words for being compared to cabbage patch kids. Just saying....

Teuvo Vehkalahti said...

Greetings from Finland. This, through a blog is a great get to know other countries and their people, nature and culture. Come take a look Teuvo images and blog to tell all your friends that your country flag will stand up to my collection of flag higher. Sincerely, Teuvo Vehkalahti Finland

Janiel Miller said...

William - Eh. My kids are used to it. We're a pack of weirdos in this household. Fun, but weird. :) Thanks for your concern!

Janiel Miller said...

Teuvo! Welcome to our blog. How nice to hear from Finland! We will definitely take a look at your blog.

Russo said...

Janiel, I loved this post. You are always honest with your thoughts and you construct them onto paper so well. I personally loved this line, "Four of them popped out of you in succession like little cabbage patch dolls trying to make their way out of a McDonald's PlayLand--leaving you in varying states of pulled, stretched, floppy, lined, and sleep-deprived."

You ppainted an image that even though I haven't been there, I totally understood.

I also laughed at "Where the Stephen-Hawking..." Oh my goodness, I love that he's used as a verb? What is it called? :)

PS- you were sweet to mention me and Maegan in your post. The truth is- I have learned how to embrace life more thru you, my dear friend.

Russo said...

PS- I loved the last paragraph as well.