I enjoy a lot of things about life. I’ve even enjoyed getting older and the wisdom that comes along with it. I don’t stress as much about my looks or making sure I see the latest film so I can discuss it’s quality with my theatrical friends. I tend to drive less aggressively and I don’t listen when I’m pretty sure someone is talking about me behind my back.
As you get older, you start to realize that these things just aren’t that big a deal. There are so many other things to focus on, like the butterflies starting to flit around my garden. Or the silly dad jokes my grandson has decided he’s really good at telling.
But there is one thing that I’m not so wild about as I move along in years, and that is time, or at least the passage of it! Suddenly it’s like everything is moving at warp speed! My grandbabies are all getting taller and more grown up every time I glance their direction. I’ll run into an old friend from school at the store and walk away wondering how they got so much older and I didn’t! (Don’t try to pretend you don’t do the same exact thing – we’re all being honest here, remember!)
The perfectly clean house or pristine yard suddenly has dust bunnies under the couch or plants up to my waist that need to be trimmed back. Didn’t I JUST dust and trim my garden?!? Or I look at my calendar and realize that my last annual check up with the doctor was two years ago but it feels like I was just there. I’m convinced that time is moving at a crazy fast clip!
I’ve mentioned before that I meet with an awesome group of ladies for Bible study every week. I always learn something from them and we all laugh…a lot! This week, one of our dear ladies mentioned something that really resonated with me. It’s a simple analogy that makes soooo much sense when it comes to my complaining about how quickly time seems to be traveling:
Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end of the roll, the faster it spins.
Ok, once you’ve stopped laughing, think about it. I think she’s on to something. So being the intelligent woman I am, I immediately went home and studied the rolls of toilet paper attached to the holders in my bathrooms. One bathroom had a pretty full roll and the other had only a few squares of toilet paper still hanging on to that roll for dear life!
The full roll took longer to make a full rotation, so it looked like it was going slower. Like when we are younger; we have so much ahead of us and so many years left to live, it can feel like time moves slowly. When I was young, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to not have to take naps anymore. I remember being anxious for the calendar to hit my 16th birthday so I could finally drive. And the date of high school graduation seemed to take forever to get here.
When there is less paper on the roll, the spin gets faster because there isn’t as much paper left to slow things down. I’m pretty sure that if I was a scientist or a math whiz I could tell you some crazy smart information about the circumference and vortex and whatever else is involved in things spinning.
But bottom line, the older I get the more I realize that life is like a roll of toilet paper. I have less and less time left to spend here on earth. The days fly by and I know that the days will keep going by faster and faster until, like that roll of toilet paper, the last sheet has been pulled off and the little cardboard tube just spins around and around and then is replaced by a brand new fresh roll.
Such a silly analogy but it makes me smile. Getting older isn’t a bad thing, it’s just different. Time passing isn’t sad, it’s just a fact of life. And I suppose that thinking of the passing of time as a roll of toilet paper takes the scariness out of growing old and all that comes along with it. I do know that, from now on, every time I look at a roll of toilet paper I’ll think about how I’m spending my life. I pray that every square of my roll is used up and not a single piece is wasted!
When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, “I used everything you gave me!” – Erma Bombeck