Friday, October 17, 2014
Furthermore, I came to believe that I, as well, would die suddenly at forty-nine.
Living for years with this belief was one of the things that made me different from other people.
Of course all of us know, deep down, that our lives will end someday. But unless we are confronted with a huge loss or near loss, we don't dwell on it. We don't tend to live each day as though it could be our last.
For thirty-four years, I lived an impatient life. I was so often conscious of time ticking away, of feeling as though my supply was on the verge of running out. I was famous for incomplete projects, for sometimes being too slap-dash. "Take your time!" my mother frequently admonished me, having no idea that I wanted to choose which things actually took my time. I wanted to try everything, believing I would not have a second chance. (Of course this led to some very poor choices!)
On the eve of my fiftieth birthday, I sat for a while, alone, taking stock of what I had accomplished, not entirely convinced that I would not die during that night.
The past two-sevenths of my life have been different. Gradually I began to live without that panicky feeling, and to do things with more intentionality. I've learned to take pleasure in "taking my time" to make a dinner menu just right, to begin a quilt that I may not live long enough to complete. This has come about slowly, and there are still times when I lapse back into that "time is too short" desperation feeling.
I've become a different kind of possessive about my time, too. There was a time when I needed to try everything that came along because I might not have another opportunity. In the past six years, I've been more conscious of choosing among things that come along, knowing full well I might not have another opportunity, but confident I have made the right choice for me.
The impetus for this post came during an email with a friend where I was thinking about the complexity of R5, my current quilt-in-progress. It's not my best-written post, and it could use some editing. But it obviously comes from my core, and I'm afraid if I look at it another minute, I'll never post it.
Posted by Nancy, Near Philadelphia on Friday, October 17, 2014