Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Long and Short of It

I saw this quote recently and it stopped me in my tracks.

"The days are long, but the years are short" - Gretchen Rubin 

As a mom to two young daughters, I'm acutely aware of how true those words are. Sometimes the days seem endless, don't they?

Diapers. Tantrums. Spilled food. Homework. Chores. "Tween" drama.

By the end of the day, I'm exhausted. Ready to collapse in my bed only to wake in six hours to do it all over again. Yes, some days can be really l-o-n-g.

But the years? Oh man, the years go by so fast.

I recently got a new computer and decided I'd try to organize some of my digital photos. I chose a random year - 2008 - and began what I thought would be a tedious task. Instead, I found myself captivated by each photo.

My 9 year old was only 4 then and my two year old hadn't even been born yet. I saw photos of preschool, apple-picking, Santa visits, and a trip to the Magic Kingdom. She was so young and small compared to the young lady of today who loves fractions, Instagram and painting crazy designs on her fingernails.
My daughter in 2008, age 4

Looking at the photos, I don't remember the daily frustrations I invariably felt as a new mom. Instead, I found myself cherishing the feelings of nostalgia and remembering how quickly everything seemed to happen.

I love that I have a little time capsule on my computer. (Note: I realize these photos really should be in photo books or in frames displayed in my home, but that's another post for another time).

Ask any parent and they'll nod their heads in agreement - sometimes the days are unbearably long, but the years are most definitely short. 

My husband and I have resolved to buy less things for our girls and try to give them more experiences. Memories they can treasure and take with them out into the world. We try to travel as much as we can, even if it's just quick day trips to surrounding towns and cities. We're not really souvenir people, but we do take a bunch of photos in a futile attempt to capture the magic of the experience forever.

One thing I've realized is that no matter how hard we try to stop time - and I think we all try to do this at some point - we can't fight the inevitable. Time will pass whether we're paying attention or not. So I'm trying my hardest to be grateful for each day (however long!) and hope that in the end, I'll look back fondly and cherish the years.

What do you think? Do you agree? What special magical moments come to mind when you look back over the years?

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