There are times when I still feel like a teenager. Other times, I look back at my younger years and wonder where the time went and how it went by so fast.
Time is a funny thing, and it doesn’t stop to laugh no matter how silly it makes you feel.
To celebrate a personal milestone last week – the Earth has revolved around the sun 39 times since I was born – I took some time off and took a trip out of town. I spent my birthday night in Austin, where I had a heck of a time back when I really was a teenager and went off to college.
Much has changed over time in Texas’ capital city, but two of the places I visited were no different than they were the last time I saw them. As always, Shady Grove near Barton Springs provided a great meal in a great setting – a spacious patio under big pecan trees. Then I spent some time listening to a blues band at the Continental Club on South Congress, where the eclectic crowd and relaxed atmosphere were the same as they ever were.
I stayed out as late as I did half my life ago and, much like time, the night caught up with me. I went to sleep before dark the following night, which reminded me that getting old really is a thing we all must face in due time.
Attending two college graduation ceremonies over my extended weekend reinforced the fact that time is indeed fleeting. I thought about my own graduation 17 years ago and how it didn’t feel like that much time had passed, and I wondered how all the young folks in caps and gowns would feel 17 years later.
If I could have stepped to the podium and offered them some advice, I would have told them that time continues to fly as it goes by and they should cherish every moment moving forward. Because the most important time of our lives is the moment in front of us.
My seemingly short time at The Leader has taught me that, and I say seemingly because I’ve already been here six months. It doesn’t feel like it’s been nearly that long, maybe because I’ve been having such a good time trying to put out a timely paper every week.
It’s taken time to learn the area and an array of new topics, at least for me. Before starting as editor in November, the times I had studied subjects such as infrastructure, real estate development, business and public policy were few and far between.
I’m thankful that many of you have taken the time to explain those issues and taken the time to read the stories produced by our small staff and me. We put a lot of time and effort into them, so much so that we occasionally come close to running out of time.
Time management is a constant battle that I get a little bit better at fighting over time. It’s important to set aside time for getaways like the one I took last week.
Without them, and the energy they restore along with the tensions they release, we run the risk of becoming ticking time bombs.
None of us wants that, and neither do the people in our lives. They deserve our time more than anything else, because the times we spend with the ones we love are the best times of all.
Let’s keep that in mind as we approach the summertime, which is about the only time when time tends to stand still. Families have more time to cherish each other once school lets out, and those who have finished school have time to reflect and plan for the future.
The future gets here fast, but that’s OK. With time comes opportunity as well as wisdom.
We learn there are times to work and times to play. We also come to know that sometimes it’s best to do both at the same time.
And when we overextend ourselves and try to relive that one time in college, when we were actually as young as we feel, we should spend a little more time sleeping even if it makes us feel old.