Slipping Away

CL24 - hbratton notxt

©Heidi Bratton Photography

I was warned.   My mom used to complain how “time flies” the older she got.  In my youthful mind, with three little ones under my feet, I scoffed.  Silly me.  Today, January 4, 2013, would have been her 82nd birthday.  I guess that has gotten me to thinking of all she wisely told me.

Funny how all of these memories come back regularly to remind me how much I didn’t understand back then.  Back when I thought we had all the answers.  Every time I think I have things figured out….something totally new will come along and reshape my thoughts and views.

 Yesterday, I noticed that I had forgotten to change the wall calendar in the kitchen.  I love the large type that fit in my frame.  I had purchased one early this year and walked to the desk drawer to get it.  Turns out, I had purchased early last year!  Oops.  Really?  Last year?  Hope it’s not too late to find one that I like.  I could have sworn I just did that. 

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to do a better job journaling (and blogging!).  Last night I opened the journal I am currently in and found the last entry was….January of 2011.  Ugh.  What have I been doing! Our second granddaughter was born in September of 2011.  Where is that entry?  We did some traveling in 2011 and even more in 2012…nothing noted? 

If this is any indication of things to come…I’m in deep trouble.  I really want to leave a legacy in print for my children and grandchildren.  Things in my lifetime have changed at warp speed, and I want them to know what life was like for us in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  

The more profound realization here is this:  If I am not taking the time to record these things, thereby preserving their memories and making sense of it in my own psyche, then most likely I am not stopping to really look at my life and the lives of those around me.  Time to appreciate the people that bless my life.  The family that stays connected and supportive of each other all through the year; the friends we have dinner with on a weekly basis, just to laugh and relax together; the volunteers at my office who do the work of caring so lovingly for the women who come to us with a crisis; the women in my circle who keep me spiritually grounded and moving forward in my relationship with God.

Time flies because we don’t stop.  There was a radio program I caught on a recent trip to do some errands that spoke of the inspiration it takes to do something profound in your life.  Not just religious inspiration but a new business or a new opportunity.  Inspiration only comes when we quiet down enough to listen.  Ouch.  Once again, guilty.  

I do want my life to slow down.  My inspiration well has run dry.  Some days, I wonder what will become of us if we don’t take some steps to change the way we are preparing for our “golden” years.  I want to begin to enjoy the moments…because it is in those moments that life really happens.  We just need to stop, pay attention, and then slowly take it all in.

Maybe, just maybe, by noticing our life, we will see and grasp the blessings that have been there all along.  Here is to a slow 2013!  Let’s take notice of our lives this year so that this time next year we will have the satisfaction of looking back on all of the blessings we too often miss.  Let’s breathe this year.

Denise Smith lives and works just outside the St. Louis area. She is married to a Permanent Deacon in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and is the mother of three grown children and proud ‘Nana’ to two (so far….).   She is Director of a Crisis Pregnancy Center and active in her parish. She blogs at treacherousbrook.blogspot.com.