We know time is precious and we shouldn't take it for granted, but it's like we have to be hit in the face with that concept before it really sinks in. It's ingrained in us to appreciate the time we have on this earth, to make the most of it, to relish in our time with our loved ones, but we waste it away, wish it away, don't take advantage of situations that could enrich our time together. And then it's not until this very abrupt, heart wrenching moment that pulls you back and reminds you that time is not a gift, that it is not unlimited and that it can end.
Summer is coming to a close for our home, being that my husband is a principal and I am a teacher once August hits, summer is over. I'm sad, I want more time. More time to not have a schedule, more time to focus on my children, more time to reinvent myself, more time to just be. I'm mad at myself though. I said more than once this summer, "next summer will be easier." I don't think anyone would fault me for thinking this way, but I'm mad that I wished away this time, day dreaming about what it'll be like when my kids are more independent. It's true next summer should be easier, but rather than looking forward I should have just been present. I need to keep my focus on now, because now is the time that I have.
I'm nervous about the start of school because how we spend our time will be different, what our day looks like changes. With this change, I don't want to see it trickle into our priorities. I don't want to go back to that feeling of being on a hamster wheel, as I was in the spring when the school year ended. I don't want to wish away time. This summer as much as I have daydreamed about the future, I've also worked on the present me. Allowing myself to do the things that I need to be a better mom, wife, and friend - time working out, time writing - time rebuilding who I am. We need to allow ourselves these outlets because it helps us to see who we are and not just who we are to others. I am not just a mom, a teacher, a wife, I don't just fulfill those roles every day, I am Chelsea and I have to nurture those things about myself and allow time for those things to grow so I can be my best me for others. I'm nervous though because that takes time, where will those things fit once the school year starts?
In the past few weeks we have seen how precious time can be, families struck by tragedy, losing loved ones in an instant. Time is not guaranteed. Sadly, this has happened before in my life and I was jolted by it during that time, but then found myself creeping back into the routine where I rush and rush and focus on that invisible checklist that has to get done in order for us to operate versus pausing and being present.
Moving forward, I'm going to do my best to not wish away time, to not long for the time when things will be "easier." I know I will yearn for this time when my children no longer need me later in life. Long for the hustle of juggling children and a full time job, that fulfillment of working tirelessly and being successful, I will want that back. Instead I'm going to laugh when my husband shouts, "anarchy" and the children are running all over. I'm going to call my friend who I've been putting off because it just doesn't feel like I have time to meet up. I'm going to not feel guilty when I go and work out for an hour because I left my husband at home with the five kids. I'm going to allow myself to be present and not overwhelmed by the things on the to-do list that are adding up. Laundry will get finished, papers will be graded, they always do, but dancing in the living room to Moana with the twins, reading Tom Sawyer with Parker, playing Chuggington with Corbin, ghost writing a Captain Underpants book with Weston - those things will vanish away before I know it. Playing golf with my mom, having dessert with a friend, trading inspirational verses and images via text with my sister, those things need my attention too, they won't always be there.
Time. It's all we hope for, we just have to remember how delicate and precious it really is, maybe then we will live in the moment and be thankful for our time.