Sunday, January 3, 2016

In the Blink of an Eye

     "The great measure of human maturation is the increasing understanding that we
 move through life in the blink of an eye; that we are not long with the privilege of having eyes to see, ears to hear, a voice with which to speak and arms to put round a loved one; that we are simply passing through."
                                                             ~ David Whyte

I have come to this understanding - that we move through life in the blink of an eye - several times in recent years.  Usually, it strikes me again with the news that someone is older than I think he or she is (my nephew who is 45, not 35), or that a celebrity I have followed for years has just died (Natalie Cole), or that an historical event happened longer ago than I remember ( The Sound of Music is 50 years old).

I seem to be thinking this more often these past few months, however, as I notice more and more evidence of my own aging process.  When I look in the mirror and see my mother's face.  When I find it has taken me longer to accomplish a certain task than it did even five years ago or that it has taken more energy.  When the passage of time as measured in the birthdays or anniversaries of loved ones comes as a shock - an uncle who is 90, a couple celebrating their 50th anniversary.  Or, as happened this past week, when I awoke with the startling realization that this was my 75th Christmas and were my father alive, he would be 100 this year.  In the blink of an eye.

This realization can be daunting.  Perhaps it is why we put it away, forget it, are continually surprised when it surfaces again.  Or it can be a gift, a measure of our maturation as David Whyte asserts.  This year I want to hold onto it, to use it to inspire the choices I make and especially the way I spend the gift of another year.  

It was, therefore, with a serendipitous pleasure that I came upon the recent column of Dear Abby entitled "New year is opportunity to set a goal for the future" in which Jeanne Phillips shared her mother's New Year's Resolutions, adapted from the original credo of Al-Anon. They capture my intentions for the coming year.  I've abridged them for myself, added to them, copied them and posted them throughout the house.  I share them in the hope they can inspire you as much as they do me.

  Just for Today;  I will concentrate on this day only.  I will not dwell in the past or worry about tomorrow.  
  Just for Today:  I will be content.  I will focus on the positive. 
  Just for Today:  I will accept what is.  I will correct those things I can correct and accept those I cannot.
  Just for Today:  I will improve my mind.  I will do something that requires effort, thought and concentration.
  Just for Today:  I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable.  I will refrain from trying to improve anybody but myself. (My husband loves this one!)
  Just for Today:  I will do something to improve my health. 
  Just for Today:  I will be grateful for all I have and especially, for all those who love and support me, and -
  Just for Today:  I will not forget that "we move through life in the blink of an eye."


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