Not too long ago, I ran into one of my mom's friends at work. We talked for a little while and caught up on things. She had just moved back to our town after living in Florida, and so she hadn't seen my mom yet upon her arrival back home. She asked how my mom was doing and mentioned how she was jealous of a Train concert that my mom had gone to just the night prior. She then nostalgically recalled a time of when she and my mom had seen them, "Train was great when your mom and I saw them a couple of years ago."
Wait a minute, what?
"... A couple of years ago," caught my attention.
I immediately stopped her and said, "What do you mean it was 'a couple of years ago?'" She replied back that it had been about three years since that night, as she had already lived in Florida for the past year, and they went two years before she moved.
I sat there in awe, basically dumbstruck, just trying to grasp the fact that that memory was from years ago, not as recent as I had thought. I didn't even go to the concert, but yet I remember the exact day my mom went, what she wore, all the details I heard and the videos I watched after my mom came back home from seeing them. It was so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that this crystal-clear memory, that seems as if it was only a few months ago, could be that far away from my present self.
And so since then, I've been noticing a lot more.
Just yesterday, I sat across from someone I love. A family member that holds a special place in my heart. As we ate and talked about our day, I took a quick glance at their face and was shocked. They looked older. Older than I remembered them to look like. Small wrinkles had formed on their face that I had not realized before. Nothing significant, just normal lines appeared by their mouth, a few by their eyes as well. I drowned out the sound of them talking for just a moment as I stared at them, upset. Of course, we all get older, we all grow whether it's up or whether it's old, but life is constantly changing and I know this. I was not upset to see how typical life stages had affected them, as it inevitably does to everyone else, but in the part that I had not realized this until now. Do I not look at them enough? One day will I wish I had glanced at them more often? Am I stuck staring at my phone or, what I think to be, too busy to appreciate their presence by seeing them? And by seeing them I don't mean just walking around the house and seeing them with my peripheral vision or walking with them by my side and glancing at them quickly out of the corner of my eye. I mean genuinely seeing them. Looking at them while they talk to me, studying their face, making eye contact. All of this so that they know I care and that I am listening.
I look back at a picture of my dog, comparing the old photo to her present self. I see the added gray that has suddenly appeared around her face without me even noticing. I think back to times when she was quick, full of energy, and now I see a more toned-down version of herself. She's 11, and don't get me wrong, she's perfectly fine, but she's more mellow and relaxed now. Perhaps it is maturity, or rather could be age. And so I ask myself, am I truly appreciating her? Am I taking advantage of the time that I get to have with her? Life is not forever and before I know it, I'll regret the ignorance that I once had and will wish that I had paid more attention and spent more time with the ones I really love.
So I'm not sure if I have been lacking in my awareness and observation skills, if I'm completely oblivious to these changes occurring in life, or if this is a normal thing to not realize change.
I like to believe that you don't realize change is happening until you think back to a time where it was different and see how it is now. But now that I know that, I know to spend more time paying attention to the things that matter.
Finding out how fast time goes by has made me question a lot of things, but it has made me realize life goes by too quickly, and so it is important to appreciate the things that matter the most. The ones you love, the friends you have, the experiences you share.
As many times as you have probably heard this, people are constantly waiting for tomorrows plans, the weekend off from work, summer without school. You wait for Friday to get your check, and then, unfortunately, spend it all during the weekend. The month flies by and the next thing you know it's New Year's Eve, and you're celebrating the new year. 365 days can feel like 30. And so life should not be about waiting for tomorrow but about living for today.