My kids are off to grades 1 and 9 for another exciting chapter in their lives. Bless their hearts- and bless mine too, because this mama wasn’t prepared for the sheer velocity of how quickly time flies. Seasons change, day turns to night, the car needs another oil change and with their engines revving, my kids are growing up. It’s exhilarating to have this VIP spot, to be so close to the action as they bolt, full throttle and turbo-charged along their journey of life.
Drivers, start your engines. This life: it’s a ride, isn’t it?! A high-performance, pedal-to-the-metal, fast-moving course of obstacles, quick decisions and wear and tear- a place where dreams and heroes are made. It’s a race against time and man, sometimes I feel like I need a little more torque just to catch up. It still feels like only yesterday I held my son in my arms, my heart exploded with love and time accelerated. (That was 14 years ago). Or how 8 years later, when I held a second bundle of love and time shifted gears again. Cruising high-speed through the exhausting and rewarding years of caring for my very own pit crew. So this week, when I sent two older, taller, growing, amazing humans to school, my heart skipped a beat of joy. Joy and pride tinged with a bit of sadness at the fact that, not only are they growing older, but I am too. And no matter how hard I try to hold on to time, to stop it from moving so fast, it zooms by at breath-taking speed.
On a recent field trip with my daughter’s kindergarten class, her hand tucked into mine, her curious blue eyes looking up at me, I got completely choked up. The innocence, the eagerness, the love that comes so freely at this age, it had me in tears. (For real, you probably think I’m kidding, but I cry everywhere.) I started missing my daughter at this age and all it’s sweetness while I was literally immersed in it. I thought: If I could only stop time, and stay in this moment, I’d always be happy. And with that naive and simple thought, something shifted in me. I can’t stop time but I can be in the moment, this one right here, and be happy. Be present, be mindful, be love, be grateful, be vital- they all go hand in hand. And my worrying about the future stealing what I have, that was what was actually robbing me of my happiness.
Yogis have a set of guidelines called yamas and niyamas which are like a map helping navigate you on your life’s journey. Simply put, the yamas are things not to do, while the niyamas are things to do. Together, they form a moral compass of yogi ethics and virtues. The yama, Aparigraha, is a fancy Sanskrit word for unattachment. It translates to non-greediness, non-possessiveness or non-grasping and reminds us to take only what we need, keep what serves us in the moment, and to let go when the time is right. So you see, my endless circuit of trying to grab hold, control and somehow change time had created a figure-8 of worry and lost traction. I can’t stop time from passing- I can only hang on to the “oh shit” handle bars and enjoy the ride. Merging, passing, refueling. You may not need a license to drive, but the ultimate champions are the ones that can maneuver it’s challenges with finesse, courage and stamina.
So race fans, a yellow flag. If you expected to find the winning prototype for your very own DeLorean within the words of this blog, consider me disqualified. I admit, I’m still a rookie driver on this championship racetrack called Life.