Monday, February 13, 2012

Measuring time

I know 60 seconds are in a minute and 60 minutes are in an hour. I know that each year consists of 365 days. I know how to measure time as it was taught to me in school.

But there are other ways to measure time. My children are knocking on the door of age 11. It doesn't seem that long ago they were in diapers and I was pulling my hair out in an attempt to potty train them. I clearly remember thinking "if they go to school in diapers, so be it" (that didn't happen).

I measure time differently these days. Occasionally I feel older than I used to but it's not a conscience thing. I know my children grow but I don't notice it daily. I know my mother is in her 80s but she's still My Mom, the same as she ever was.

I was struck today while shopping in my favorite thrift store about how much time has passed. First, it's not the new store any more. Second, the clothes I peruse for my kids are no longer in the baby aisle. Or the toddler aisle. They are in the big kid section, just across from the adults.

My bff from high school is a grandmother. Twice. My ex's bff (who is younger than us) is going to be a grandfather for the third time. How is that possible? I remember another friend's child being born. He's in college now. I don't really remember the years in between.

I guess lots of people have their own time lines. My mother's friend, Anne, gave me a rhinestone bracelet when I was in high school (I collected then and still love bling). She said it was BM - before marriage, when life was fun. I remembered thinking about that as my own marriage ended, though our 14+ years together were more fun than not. I divided my mother's life by BM (before marriage), DM (during) and AM (after). Even those timelines are further divided by life when my brother was young and life when I was young (10 years apart).

My life is divided by locales. There's my brief life in Massachusetts. There's my life in Pennsylvania (which borders a few short stints in NJ) and then my life in Maryland, which I always thought would be temporary but as I'm coming on 20 years, I think it might not be.

I also have the medical timeline. I have the pre-thing-in-my-brain life. That coincides with pre and post lyme disease. There's pre and post pregnancy. Even my ex's various life changing (for me) diagnoses left a mark.

If someone had said to me "You will stay in Maryland for 20 years" when I moved here, I would have scoffed in disbelief. I'm a Philly chick and not politically correct enough to be in DC. Little did I know....

Maybe it's just me. I have a warped sense of time and age. I am in denial of my daughters aging before my eyes. And of my gray hair that never seems to go away.


  1. You're view of the timeline isn't warped - the timeline itself is warped! Grandkids 2 & 3 are on the way, but I still giggle at topless mannequins at JCPenny. I'm 41 and 15 simultaneously. My challenge is keeping the teenager alive inside until the body of the grandfather can't keep up anymore.

  2. I think about this all the time. Most of the time I still feel like the awkward five year old who doesn't know where she fits in - and yet, there's my own five year old looking at me for some guidance. Crazy chicken world.

    So funny you are a Philly to MD transplant - I was a MD to Philly transplant for 16 years till I came back. I also never thought I would stay so long...

    Sometimes Mike and I look at each other and giggle and say "we have kids...heheheh" The whole aging thing is a little baffling to me.