I Hurtle

I had a conversation with a man today.  He was talking to me about his grandma and the doctor telling him she needs to go in to a nursing home.  Though the grandson understands it and knows it to be true he said something that I cannot shake from my thoughts.

He said:  “she worked all of her life and did everything she was supposed to do and now all she wants to do is go home and be left alone.  And she can’t.”

I’ve heard this in different variations over the years.   And to quote him he emotionally acknowledged on her behalf  that  “this sucks”.   Fully understanding this terminology – I agreed.

Because it struck me today, that this  could be any of us.

Today as this man spoke I had visions of his grandma working, as I worked today, and will work tomorrow, and will work gladly for years to come.  I look forward to going home daily.  I look forward to going home.   I look forward to home.  Everything I do is always revolving around going back to home.  I never do anything when I leave without the anticipation of going home after the doing of this something.  Home.  Wanting to be home.  That resonated with me so powerfully.

And right this minute I am trying to slow down my hurtling self flying through time.  I have this vision of me windmilling through the space and length and breadth of my life.  Arms flailing.  Legs churning.   And I cannot slow it down to enjoy it even more.  I can’t.  I just hurtle.

Right this minute I want time to reign it’s self in.  All of the years I sat as a child in a classroom just pleading with time to hurry up and get me out of there.  All of the times I suffered through real or perceived difficult times and I begged for time to get me to a different point in my life.  All of the times I sat mindlessly watching TV because ‘there was nothing else to do’.  All of the time I was waiting for something planned and wonderful and ignoring the time I had to spend on anything I wanted in the interim.

Time fought with me when I begged it to hurry up.   And now that I am fighting with it to slow down it fights me yet again!

Curses to you time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And time fights me still.

I know I am hurtling through my life with a speed that I cannot control.

I am at a point in my life where she once was.

And she’s at a point now that when she was where I am she did not see it coming.

I think it is seldom that we stop and think of ourselves as old or older.   I think we generally think of ourselves as we are or how we used to be.   And as we are, is who we shall always be.  Or so we hope.

Where I once cursed the speed of time for it’s sluggish progression I now curse it for the rampant and thoughtless care of rushing me through to the end.

Did she feel the same?  At any point did she realize the speed at which time shot  her like a speeding bullet through her life to find herself at  this  point.   A point  she did not anticipate.   Old.  Weak.  Dependent.  Cursing the world that doesn’t see her as she sees herself.   Angry at a world that just won’t let her go home.

I can’t shake this man’s comment.   And I can’t shake this vision of myself hurtling through the atmosphere of my life.

Shooting Through Life

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55 thoughts on “I Hurtle

  1. The older we get the faster that speeding bullet goes. Strange how time went by so slow when in school and how fast it goes by now. It goes by so fast now that it makes my head spin. One of the hardest birthdays for me was my 22nd. Because, all my young life I can hardly wait to be 21 years old. A “real” adult. It never occurred to me that after 21 then comes 22 and 23 and 24…LOL! It’s really strange. I never imagined myself at the age I am now – never. Not even once.

  2. Yes, it is a shame that we often wish parts of our lives away but I don’t think anyone can stop from doing that. All of us have to endure things we don’t want to. It’s all part of life and that’s a shame.

  3. Reblogged this on A Simple, Village Undertaker and commented:
    This is a great reminder for all of us “middle agers”, especially those of us whose parents are still around. I also have some older friends who just want to be home, but are getting to the point it is dangerous. To say it “sucks” can almost be considered an understatement. Thank you for putting this out so clearly. It reminds me of a saying I often use, “Life is short, dead is for a very long time. Enjoy life.”

  4. Very thoughtful post Colleen. We need to enjoy and be grateful for every day, as we get.

  5. Gratitude for each day is a gift that feeds the heart. Luckily and because of my profession (being around death, etc.) I learned this a little earlier. Perhaps even earlier than I would have liked to due to the motivation but it has helped me immensely. Great post, my friend.

    • Thank you Paulette. I think these last 15 years has really had an impact. I’ve walked out of so many situations, homes, nursing facilities~and looked up to the sky, in to the faces of others, in to the mirror. And knew I better pay attention. ❤

  6. Val Boyko says:

    Yep – time does go quicker as we age … yet I’ve found I can also slow it down when I pause to breathe fully. Breathing consciously from the belly soothes the body and calms the mind. It activates the vagus nerve and our parasympathetic nervous system. The hurtling feeling dissipates and we believe we have all the time in the world.
    And in that moment we do.
    xo

    • “And in that moment we do”. Val I’ve practices so very carefully in certain moments. There is a moment where I stood atop an island off of Ireland, my husband even took a picture. It’s my favorite picture of me. But I stood there. Breathing the ocean air. Absorbing the grey sky. The grey stone. And told myself there will be times in life where I need to be right here, like I was then. I did nothing but stand, breathe, and allow and demand myself to be right there. Because I needed it then. And now. Thank you!

  7. Poignant post Colleen. I have thought about this as I watch my parents get older.

    Back in the day, one would stay home because families lived together “Waltons” style. What can be done differently so that when we reach that stage of life, we won’t feel so helpless and warehoused? A story-based study of people in care facilities would be a great start, I think. ❤
    Diana xo

  8. markbialczak says:

    My dear wife Karen always, always says to me, MBC, when I start going on about retirement age and somesuch: Don’t wish our life away, Mark. Enjoy today to the maximum.

    She is right. You are right. We are hurtling toward what that woman and her family is experiencing, when our time suddenly becomes dictated by what they say we have to do. Scary, as you say today so well, my dear friend.

    • I have to admit that there were many times in life I did wish my life away. Many many years ago someone told me to stop doing that. And I did. Being present for what we have and where we are makes a huge difference.

      I see many people who have no idea where their lives went. Or people who have lost the memory of their lives. All we’ve got is definitely right now.

      Thank you MBM.

  9. reocochran says:

    Colleen, I loved this post for its huge reminder to celebrate, embrace, love and cherish every moment of the day. Try not to look ahead unless to save money and plan for bettter retirement. It is a hard way to go, but the young man is hurt and frustrated that he cannot help his grandma. Such a touching and bittersweet story.
    Now, as an artist, I had wished you were being hurtled from a big cannon or a wrestler taking you over his head and turning until you were sent soaring. The gun caught me and made me take a long time studying it. I don’t wish for anyone to be hurtled, much less from a gun. Please don’t take this personally, Colleen. I love your art, you know i do!!
    By the way, tonight there is going to be the International Space Station crossing the skies over Columbus around 10:08 but there is a NASA place online to see the exact times it happens. Cool thing was my brother said it crossed the Full Moon last night on my would have been Dad’s #84 birthday. ** hugs **

    • Thank you Robin! 🙂

      No worries. I actually drew the gun because I tried to draw me “windmilling” but could NOT figure out how to do it. I just ended up looking like a flat ‘x’. I had written the post first and wanted to add a little illustration. WIndmilling was my first choice. Then I re-read it and saw the speeding bullet reference. I tried that and it worked.

      I missed the crossing!!!!

      Happy Your Dad’s 84th!!!

      • reocochran says:

        Guess what? Colleen, I punched in Delaware OH and the international space shuttle passes again at 9:06 on this Tuesday. Rich sent me a photo from the state of Delaware (Bethany Beach) and it had a rectangle, he says it is gray then gets light fro. Sun or moon’s reflection. We both lost our Dads bur memories keep them alive, Colleen. ♡

  10. Gibber says:

    I have to be careful not to think about/dwell on it too much given my health issues. Also working as a Care Aid cause me to develop a fear of growing old.

  11. dogear6 says:

    That picture was just inspired! You did great capturing how fleeting our moments in life feel. And are. This is one of the most popular posts that Gretchen Rubin has in her blog:

    https://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2014/05/secret-of-adulthood-the-days-are-long-but-the-years-are-short/

    Nancy

  12. niaaeryn says:

    I know the feeling. Just today, my friend and I were talking about how fast things are. How the year flew by in no time at all. And we did not see ourselves where we are now…but here we are.
    A good reminder to enjoy where we are, be Zen, savor the moment as much as we can. Life is so short. Too short I think.
    I miss Saturday morning cartoons and the mini cereal boxes sometimes…but now I also love coffee and chocolate. There are benefits to every age.

  13. jmgoyder says:

    I understand this and Anthony’s situation has made me more aware of my own ageing and the uncertainty of the future.

  14. ksbeth says:

    stay grateful and in the moment. many times easier said than done.

  15. April says:

    Here’s some advice from someone who doesn’t follow her own….live each moment. I’m only hoping that the place I may have to live some day will be the place my daughter is the nurse taking care of me. She would be the best. Also, if I could live in a place where someone cooked, cleaned, and kept me safe, I’m all for it. 😀

    • 🙂 Those are good things to be happy with . Personally, I would like my own room. I wouldn’t be comfortable having to share a small space. I would be okay with a small space, as long as it felt like ‘mine’.

  16. Mustang.Koji says:

    I am at light speed. At least you are but at the speed of sound. 🙂

  17. Jim McKeever says:

    This one hits close to … home, Colleen.

  18. Every now and then I happen across gems I’ve not seen or read before, and here I am at another one. 2 years have passed since you shot this bullet and I’ve just caught it . I’m glad it was not going so fast that I missed it.

  19. Sharon Dear says:

    You have said it all. Time is a friend we wait for and time waits for no friend. Will we be the lucky ones that time allows to live at home forever? I pray, YES!

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