We say it all the time. Usually when we didn't finish something that we were supposed to do. Or didn't go somewhere we wanted to go. Or we realized that another week has come to an end. Or that it's November already, and another year is almost over.
I saw a very dear friend last night, for the first time in what we realized was nearly a year and a half. It was her birthday celebration, and at this age her being three months older than I am is more fun for me than it was when we were teenagers. (Like I told her last night, she may have turned 16 before I did, but she's also going to turn 50 before I do. So there.)
And so, because she is one of my oldest and dearest friends, it was such a shock to realize how long it had been since we were in the same room together. Sure, we've kept in touch. There has been the occasional text or email. The Facebook updates. The invitations to events that unfortunately had to be declined for one reason or another. But, as they say, life went on, and time just slipped away.
It would be easy to lament the "lost" time. And we all do that from time to time. Sometimes we just can't help it. But in our case last night (and one of the things that I love most about this woman, and one of the reasons that she's one of my best friends) we just shrugged it off, caught up on missed events, and then just enjoyed hanging out together for a few hours.
Because it wasn't about how long it had been. It was about finally being there together now. It was about the love of an old friend, and the pleasure of good company. Do I wish that we could see each other more? Of course. Am I going to whine about it? Definitely not. (And not just because if I started whining she'd roll her eyes and tell me to get over it.) It's partly that, but mostly it's that I've reached an age where I'd rather focus on where I am and what I do have rather than worry about things I can't change.
I found this clock online at cafepress.com. And I think I might just have to order one. Because like I said, I'd rather focus on the now, rather than being frustrated about how quickly time passes. But I'm still a work in progress, so a few reminders now and again probably wouldn't hurt. It's a good concept though, don't you think? The time is now.
So maybe we'll never really be able to answer the question of where the time goes. But that's not necessarily the point. The fact is that it goes. And it will keep going. Maybe the best that we can do is just to start appreciating it while it's here.