“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.“Psalm 90
Once upon a time, I taught first grade.
I remember a humorous incident one December day just before vacation. I helped the children cut out paper snowflakes and write a wish for the New Year. After dismissal, I noticed Daniel still at his desk, stuffing his backpack with his pencil case, books, and folders.
When I asked what he was doing, Daniel replied, “I don’t want to forget any of my stuff. Oh, and thanks for being my teacher. First grade was fun!”
Time may flow in one direction. but how we experience its passage is more individual.
What does a year feel like?
During the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, people across the nation reported disorientation about time passing. Funny social media memes abound.
Without our usual schedules, social activities, holiday celebrations, and other time markers, the days blurred together. The heightened stress and fear only compounded this sensation.
Our memories got mushed.
I felt both comforted and validated hearing these reports. Now others might understand what I experienced after the traumatic loss of my father.
Grief and trauma distorts our sense of time.
Days stretch and bend. Past and present fuse. The months seem like moving parts. Memories shuffle like a deck of cards.
The future looms unreal. Waiting unbearable.
I had not known beforePaul Laurence Dunbar
Forever was so long a word.
The slow stroke of the clock of time
I had not heard.
What does a year feel like?
A lifetime. Or a dream. A ballad or a song. A blink.
For some, this state-of-being is temporary. For others, it persists.
Your friend sends a Happy New Year wish and you’re still standing on the edge of June.
Time is a relentless trickster. It plays hide and seek on us. It sweeps by when we’re not looking. Pushes us forward whether we’re ready or not.
Lost time is never found.Benjamin Franklin
Our brains are hard-wired to remember negative events better than positive ones. We recall rebuke more than praise, and rejection more than affection.
Remembering the good, especially during hard times, can help overcome this negativity bias.
So, I’ve begun making a list of all the good moments of 2022. Looking through photographs and my calendar helps.
Give it a try. You’ll get an instant lift.
Here are some highlights:
*A January sunset sail in Key West.
*Hanging out with my family members in beautiful Sarasota.
*The joy of attending my daughter’s postponed 2020 college commencement.
*The fun of a family gathering in the Catskills.
*An incredible Writer’s Retreat in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
*Welcoming a new grandson and 2 additional members to our family tree.
*An unexpected birthday gift arrives in the mail.
There are joys to be found in the present.
A sunny writing room.
A surprise message from an old friend.
Hugs from your grown kids.
Breakfast prepared for you.
Gratitude gives light to the dark days.
These past months have been very hard. I am grateful for those who stood by me.
I am grateful to the organizations that supported my writing this year: Key West Literary Seminar, Tuscan Book Festival, Joyce Maynard Write by the Lake, and Story Studio Chicago.
And I’m grateful to you readers for sharing this journey through time. Wishing you all a light-filled New Year!
What’s on your best days of 2022 list?