Another year down? Seriously? I used to make fun of my grandmother when she said time passes more quickly the older you get. With all of the supreme confidence of a fourteen-year-old I’d roll my eyes at her and say, “No, it doesn’t.” I didn’t even have the scientific chops to back up my argument with points about time and space. All I had was arrogance. And now I don’t even have that. Because I swear it was just January, that I was just trying to wrangle my mistakenly penned “one” into the lines of a two on the end of the date, that I was taking down the Christmas decorations I have just put up. And every single one of them looks more familiar to me, more recent. So, even though I hear the seconds on the clock by my desk ticking away at their usual steady pace, I have to conclude my grandmother was right. Time is accelerating.
The fun part is, there’s nothing to do about it. Not in a Dr. Who, let’s-build-a-time-machine-and-slow-this-shit-down, sort of sense. At least not for me. Because if you were paying attention to the above paragraph then you already know I had no scientific tendencies early on, and an absence of continuing education for the past twenty years has done nothing to enhance my situation. If time were about to cease and the world’s population turned in unison and cried, “Avery, you are our only hope,” well, that would be the last thing they ever said. Barring me growing a big girl brain and changing the space-time continuum, we move on to the notion of shoving as much crap as possible into my remaining time. Shockingly, I have issues with this, as well.
The internet is rife with memes, we all know this. Some have cute cats doing silly things (yeah, I kinda like them, what of it?), while many others offer advice for dealing with the very conundrum of which we now speak. Grand, sprawling images of nature, soaring eagles, runners bursting through the yellow tape, all highlight the brilliant white text urging me in some pithy way to live the day like it is my final. And I look at these magical, inspiring images and think, “Are you fucking serious?”
How is telling me to think of now as my last moments on the planet good motivation for getting me to take time in hand and sit down and work? Pretending to cling to the last thread of existence in order to get my life in order seems highly counterproductive. Yes, I love writing. I’m doing it now and waves of love are pouring out of me like solar flares. But I can guarangoddamntee that if today were my last day I would not be doing this. I would be doing other things. Far more dangerous, stupid things. Because why not? I’m about to die. I go off every day pretending today’s the day I check out and you know what I have? Not 15,000 words at the end of the week, but drunken heroin addict with crabs enrolled in acrobat school.
The question remains, then, what does one do when time continues to spiral out of control? I suppose my grandmother had that answer, but I never asked her. And now she’s gone–far faster than she’d have thought when she was twenty, I’d wager. But, knowing my practical grandmother, I think she’d say, “Not a goddamn thing” (she loved that particular expletive and it seems to have rubbed off on me at some point). The earth will keep spinning, and, like a playground bully with the merry-go-round, time is going to run faster and faster trying to shake me off. But I can be good with that. I like my trees and ornaments, and am happy to see them again, even if it all feels a little sooner than expected.