Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

Time keeps moving at an almost alarming pace for me. I know it’s because I probably have more years behind me than I do ahead of me. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was a child, and thought the days lasted forever. But I’m wondering if at some point, the actual counting of the days stops.

And no, I don’t mean in the ultimate sense.

Here it is March again, and where I live, it looks as if it could almost be spring as there is no snow in sight.  Last spring happened only a little while ago, and next spring isn’t really that far off. It’s like we’re on a gently moving merry-go-round, and oh, look, there’s spring. Yes, it’s in the cycle and will come and go and come again. The lines separating the days and weeks and months are blurring. It’s just this merry-go-round, it doesn’t stop until the end, it’s all one unit of time—my time.

Each day matters, in that they’re, every single one of them, a precious gift. Time is a precious gift, and it’s up to us to use that gift wisely. Of course, the definition of ‘wise’ is very subjective, isn’t it?

Time management has never really been my forte, despite the fact that I’m very anal about some things. There are days when I have so much to do, it feels as if nothing gets done, or perhaps it’s me, and I’m so busy worrying about what gets done that nothing can get done. I have a bad habit of approaching chores and tasks like I did 20 or even 30 years ago, in the days when my energy was greater and my drive perhaps a bit more focused. One thing I’m having trouble doing is giving myself permission to not be as energetic, or as organized, or even as focused as I used to be.

Maybe the real challenge for me is simply accepting that I am getting older. No, I’m not old yet, but I am getting older. And being older, I don’t have to be in the fields all the time. I can relax, have fun, or just let my mind wander when I feel like it. Sometimes I have trouble adapting to my changing reality.

My beloved is having a similar difficulty, only for him facing reality these past few weeks has been a bit more stark of a process. It’s that time, where he works, to do the annual maintenance of the equipment that is used to turn big rocks into little rocks and gravel. He’s been out of his truck and having to do physical labour for a month now. He truly can’t do things the way he could 20 years ago, and because he can’t, the pleasure in the doing has been drained away from him. I think, though, that he’s turned that difficult corner, and instead of thinking so much about what he can’t do any more, he’s begun, finally, to look forward. And because he can’t do what he’d originally planned to do once he hangs up his hard hat for good, he—like me—has adapted. And surprisingly, in much the same way.

He’s planning to write when he retires. It’s something he’s done before, because once upon a time, when I was yet an aspiring author, he nagged me. Yes, he thought that I could schedule writing somewhere between folding that load of clothes from the dryer and putting the potatoes on to cook. I had a whole fifteen minutes! Why didn’t I sit down and write? So I challenged him to write his own book, and he did—in the days before computers, when it was either a typewriter or a pen (he chose a pen).

That had been quite the eye-opener for him, and he came away from the experiment with a greater appreciation for my process, and a newly awakened discovery of his own.

Two extended Christmas breaks in the last two years have proven that his occupying the same office space with me is truly a non-starter. The only thing that gets produced in this office when that happens is frustration (mine) and the only thing that gets plotted is distraction (his). Yes, this past December I actually told him to go outside to play and to not come back inside until the streetlights came on. He knew I didn’t mean it literally—it was our code for “you’re annoying me, please stop”.

Once he began to realize that the frustration will cut both ways when he’s retired, he began to consider the situation, and came up with a plan. Not willing to let any grass grow under his feet, he’s already purchased a new desk which he will put together on the weekend. It’ll go in one corner of our living room, and will neatly host his computer.

This should work brilliantly since there are only the two of us in this small house. The other beings who live here, fur babies both, can be counted on, at any given point during the day, to be dozing. And when the dog decides he wants to go outside every fifteen minutes, we’ll take turns.

My husband has nineteen and a half months to go before he’s home, full time. And since we’ve already discovered that time goes by rather quickly, that day will be here before we know it.


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