Tuesday, January 18, 2011

As time goes by...

It never ceases to amaze me how time passes and things change. Yesterday I went out to lunch with a couple former co-workers. Craig couldn't make it, but the three of us had a nice time. It's an annual thing (yes, for MLK day...long story), and I've really begun to look forward to it each year. If nothing else, it's just another excuse to swap stories from our crazy days with the Amerks. For all the bad things that come with working in sports, there were a lot of crazy, amazing, fun moments that I will cherish (and laugh about) for the rest of my life. It was definitely a different time for all of us, though my two dining companions are actually both still single...but they've both moved on to different jobs and different phases of their lives. And obviously, so have I. But working in sports creates unique relationships, and we settled right back in to a pleasant meal...without the frustrations we might have had with each other back in our days as co-workers. It was nice. Near the end of the lunch we marveled at how things have changed. People have moved on, gotten married, and had kids...even some of the wildest among us. Girls I never thought I'd see settle down now have kids, and there are even a couple guys who married into instant fatherhood. I think it's pretty crazy to think back on the old days and contrast them to now. I know that time goes on and things change, but I can't help but think about what our old selves would think of our current selves. Happy that we ended up with lives outside of work and the bar? Upset that there's a bit less fun now? Relieved that we get decent paychecks now? I wonder. Still, I'm grateful for the good times we had, and even for the bad times, since I know now how nice it is to work a normal job and have weekends off.

The other night a friend of mine posted a picture on Facebook of a group of my friends (and me) at a high school winter dance. There was a long list of comments from all of us over the course of the next day or so, pondering the circumstances surrounding the picture and marveling that we're all still friends--not close, mind you, but friendly enough to share witty banter over a picture on Facebook. We're all in different parts of our lives now--one of us with three kids, another a recent first-time father, one still a newlywed, one who moved across the country and back, another a completely different person than he was back then--and yet we could still bond over a picture that's from half a lifetime ago. Ahhh, technology....and the wisdom that comes with age.

Periodically I look back in the blog and read where I was a year (or two or three) ago. I generally enjoy looking back at pregnancy and early baby days the most, but I think I'm acquiring a greater appreciation of the last year or so as well. I just read back last year at this time, and all the words that Jacob was saying back then, the things he was doing, and it's neat to see where he is now. The stuff he was doing a year ago was the foundation of everything he's doing now--his first few words, his constant sports-playing--and he's just elaborated on that ever since. Of course, he'd just done his one and only crib jump, which had me panicked. He was finally settling in at his new daycare, and I was excited that he seemed to be learning a lot. Last year at this time we were also close to selling our house and buying the one we're in now, which was a boatload of stress as well. Two years ago he was close to getting teeth but was still miserably sick from his second bout of bronchiolitis and his eternal cough. That was a hard time. We were finally settling into parenthood a little more comfortably, but I was worried about solid foods and all of the changes he was slowly moving into. Three years ago I was in a strange period of pregnancy...pre-baby belly, post-first trimester...feeling better but not great, wondering what to wear, when things would start feeling more real, and cautiously starting the planning process. What a time that was.

And now here we are three years later...two and a half year old little boy, new house, different challenges, altered plans for the future. And three years down the road things will be different yet again....hopefully just as happy, if not more so. And no doubt I'll be looking back on these days with this wistful haze, how things were so much simpler. Or maybe we'll be looking back and thinking how crazy we were to live our lives like this...which, let's hope, means that Craig has a better job and/or I'm living the dream as a part time stay-at-home mom. It doesn't hurt to hope, right? Hopefully we're all still in good health, with two happy children, surrounded by happy, healthy family members, still loving our house and living comfortably.

It's scary to think that far ahead, though, which is why it's just smart to focus on today. There's so much to focus on today, and so much to enjoy between now and then. Thinking back to college, I remember looking at the syllabus for each class on the first day of the semester and freaking out about all of the stuff that we were supposed to do in the next 15 weeks. All of the reading assignments, papers and exams seemed overwhelming on day one, and while it wasn't particularly fun to make my way through them all, eventually I did--one thing at a time. And life is the same way. Looking too far ahead makes things overwhelming, so you just deal with everything one day at a time, planning ahead where possible but knowing that in the end you'll get through it somehow. It won't be easy, but time moves along and doesn't give us much choice but to hop along for the ride. Of course, the problem is that all of those todays run together, and suddenly it's weeks, months, or years from now. We get lost in the day-to-day stuff, wish away our work weeks to get to the weekend, and look ahead to big plans down the road...only to realize we've missed some sweet moments in between. I think that's partly why everyone says life really starts going quickly once you have kids. You split your time between attending to present needs and planning for future ones. There's no time for playing spectator, so everything moves faster.

I think that's enough philosophical wanderings for one night, but the passage of time is something I'll probably never get over. Good to know I'll have blog fodder for as long as time moves on...

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