Time flies

Time has a way of moving quickly, catching us unawares with the passing years. It seems like just yesterday that I was young (in fact I still feel young) newly wed and embarking on my new life with my husband. Yet in other ways, it seems the past has been here not very far away, forever,  or at least for my entire life.

I wonder, where have all the years  gone? I know I lived them all. I have memories of how it was back then and  all my hopes and dreams.  But with all those memories it seems like each one of the kids was with us including the ones who hadn’t yet been born, and that we must have had internet and smart phones.  It takes concentrated effort to really look back.  One day I found myself recounting the years we spent in Colorado in the mid-80’s.  I never learned to drive in the snow.  I told whoever I was talking to that on multiple occasions I drove the car off the road and into the ditch and had to call my husband to pull me out.  Suddenly I realized there was a flaw in my memory.  We had no cellphones at that time.  I remember the snow, the cold, the loss of control.  I remember my husband coming to the rescue.  But how did I contact him?  I simply do not know.  I can’t remember what we did before cell phones, although I do remember clearly my husband stating that he would never need a cellphone.  There was no one he needed to stay in contact with twenty-four hours a day.  I think back and see, that yes, time has moved quickly, and my memory has made it seem that very little has changed.

So, here it is… the winter of my life catches me by surprise…How did I get here so fast? Winter?  Not possible. This must be early fall. Where did my youth go, my energy? I remember watching old folks across the years and thinking they were so far ahead of me, that winter was so far off I would never arrive in that cold and hostile season where they seemed to reside.

But,now I can see it just ahead…my friends are retired and turning grey…they’re moving more slowly and I wonder what happened to them.  How did they age so much more than I have?  (My grandkids bring me back to reality as to who’s getting old!) My husband saw and acknowledged the inevitable long before I did. Some of our friends are doing better and some are in worse shape than I am…but, now I see the changes. Their age is beginning to show; we have become those old folks that we used to notice but  knew we’d never be.

Some mornings I find that getting out of bed is at least a minor accomplishment, and taking a nap is a  requirement (if I don’t want to fall asleep in the middle of a conversation.) But at the same time I can stay up and read until well after midnight and sleep in in the morning. I was always a morning person.  Sleeping in is a luxury I now enjoy on a nearly daily basis! I can sit at the computer for hours, writing, doing research, and hardly notice the passage of time. (You can find my books on Amazon.)

I’ve entered this new season of  life unprepared for the aches and pains that lie ahead,  the loss of strength and the ability to go out and do things that I wish I had done but never did. (There are still a few things I would like to do, but they don’t involve a lot of hiking!) At least I know, that though winter is approaching (and I’m not sure how long it will last) I realize that when it’s over on this earth a new adventure will begin! And I plan to be there with my husband and family and friends.

Do I have regrets?  Not many.  I was never one to live in the past. There are things I wish I hadn’t done…things I should have done, but there are many things I’m happy to have done. It’s the way of life. And there are many things still ahead!

So, if you’re not approaching your winter yet…remember, it will be here sooner than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in  life please do it soon! Don’t put things off too long! Have children, love, laugh, forgive, and get on with life. Life goes by quickly. Do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether today is your winter! You have no promise that you will live through all the seasons of  life. Live every day and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember.

I don’t think a few aches and pains are the end of the world.  I hope to accomplish lots more in the decades ahead.  I know there is something new and exciting right around the corner, and I’m willing to hobble my way over to see what it is!

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About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States"--Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico, Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, and Cochise College in Nogales, Arizona. She and her husband travel extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, and have spent many summers in the remote highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala with their family. Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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