These Are The Longest Days And Shortest Years Of Our Lives
The thing I like most about my seven gray hairs is that they stick straight out like a wire, making them effortless to pluck out every 60 days.
Sure, these recently arrived strays are a sign that I’ve lived on this planet for over three decades now. But they also surely serve as proof that I’ve been a parent for nearly a year and a half.
Since becoming a dad, my concept of time has been greatly compromised. Today I had to ask myself what month it is, not knowing if it were summer or fall or winter; as if the Tennessee heat and humidity didn’t give it away. Turns out, it’s spring.
But what’s the difference?
These are the longest days and shortest years of my life. In a sense, I almost don’t even know what that means. But in some simple, clever, yet abstract way, I totally get it.
All I know is I spend most of my hours doing the things that I don’t want to do, so I can afford the few hours of the day (or of the week) doing the things I actually enjoy.
The majority of my hours at my “real job” in an office are spent either finding ways to stay busy so that I don’t realize how bored out of my mind I am, or it’s the exact opposite: I’m “swamped” and stressed and on top of that, regularly criticized that my work isn’t good enough. (The Dadabase is my 2nd job; not my office job.)
Then let’s consider life when I’m not “working.”
There’s the transporting and taking care of my son, there’s the cleaning up of dishes after dinner, there’s mandatory chill out time with my wife… which currently means finishing Season 3 of Lost. And there’s catching up with my wife and making sure we have some quality time and conversations aside from our chill out/entertainment time.
Most of my life is spent earning an income. Next is my time with my family; being a dad and a husband. Last and least is the concept of “me time.”
Alongside all this organized chaos is a little blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy who likes to show me his newest magic trick each day; like last week when Jack carefully placed each macaroni shell on his finger like it’s a fingernail, before eating it. (I entitle the picture above “Jack-N-Cheese.”)
He serves as one of the few reminders for me that life is actually moving forward as he’s growing up and becoming more independent everyday. (That’s why each post starts out by telling how old he is.)
Meanwhile, I often feel like I’m just living life in front of a green screen that loops the same tired footage as the day before.
So what can I do? I make as much as I can with what little time I do have to spend with my family and what I enjoy doing; in order feel alive and creative and set apart in this world.
This life can be consuming in its mundaneness; not to mention how hard it is to simply making a living and not worry about how I am going to support my family and myself throughout the future.
What is the meaning of life? To give life meaning.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”
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