September 26, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
My husband surprised me last week and ordered a real-deal cell phone, mostly because he is able to get one for free with a freaking-awesome plan through work. Up until this point I’ve used a pay-as-you-go Mtv phone, you know, the $10 one that you get for your teenagers? Yeah, that was me. I consistently used too much and had to top it up waaaaay too often for the husband’s liking. It’s not entirely my fault, though. The phone was as basic as they come. I couldn’t even check my voice mail remotely. I got charged for text messages whether I read them or not and I paid ten cents a minute for incoming and outgoing calls. If a doctor or teacher called me I had to answer it. Needless to say, I spent over $40 a month. It was el stinko.
Needless to say, I’ve had the good fortune of spending the past few days setting this phone up. And by good fortune I mean it is equivalent to torture during the Spanish Inquisition. And you know what they say: Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Anyways, I still have to carry my old phone with me (which no longer sends or receives calls) in order to get my contacts list, which I have yet to figure out how to input. The thing is I need time to do it. And since I spent three hours yesterday just setting up appointments and making phone calls and another four hours the day before just filling out the yearly IEP paperwork nonsense, I guess it is safe to say that I haven’t had the time.
Time is a funny thing. I seems to go faster when you want things to stop. Sorta like when you are having the most amazing day of your life or when you are watching your children sprout faster than bean stalks. Or when you are spending time with a loved one and know that time is limited. Time seems to drag on when you want things to speed up. Like when that homily is just a few minutes too long or when you are in a boring meeting and it’s five o’clock on a gorgeous sunny day and you’re in a hurry to go nowhere sitting in traffic on the blue route.
Lately I’ve been trying to avoid keeping track of time. I get all nostalgic on my bad self when I think of my boys, who just yesterday were babies, toddling about the yard, picking blades of grass and smiling at me with toothless grins. This has brought me to the conclusion that life is fleeting. It is much too short. DON’T BLINK PEOPLE! It goes by soooo fast! I’ve had several fish-slaps-in-the-head lately thinking about the Meaning of Life. No, not THAT Meaning of Life. I mean, the real meaning of life. What is it? What’s the point? Why the heck are we here? I mean, I keep thinking about all that goes on in the world and the tragedy and such that goes on daily. Just the other day I passed my neighbor working on his porch and three hours later he died. I’m baking stuff today to drop by their home. It was sudden and unexpected and very tragic. I’m not trying to depress you. I’m just sayin’. Life goes by pretty fast, you know? To quote the famous Ferris Bueller: Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you’re gonna miss it. Or maybe it’s you could miss it. What evs. The point is, live for NOW peeps.
See, the way I operate is this: You get one life. Make the best of it. Don’t be afraid to try things. You ain’t getting any younger. No one ever went to their death beds wishing they vacuumed the floor one more time or put in a few more hours at the office. And if they did they’ve got their priorities slightly twisted. Slightly. Just a wee bit. I don’t know about you, but from what I’ve heard people lament that they didn’t get time with a loved one or didn’t get to try something that they wanted to try. Before my grandmother passed, I was able to spend an extraordinary amount of time with her, talking with her and learning more about her in a few days than I did in my whole life. One of the things she told me is she regretted not finishing college (she met and married her husband with two semesters to go) but she was happy she met the love of her life and had five children. She just wished she spent more time with them. More time. More time with her family. And that, my friends, is why she died surrounded by them. Because she had her priorities straight. She went out of this world surrounded by people who loved her.
That’s what I want. I may not have the cleanest house, but it is clean enough to be happy. I may not have the fanciest life style, but we have everything we need. I love. I am loved. My children and husband are cared for and happy. I see my family as much as I am able. That’s the way I am choosing to spend my time. So that when my time is up, I die surrounded by what really matters in life. No, not Hawaii. Not fancy cars. People. People that I love, who love me.
How’s this for irony? I downloaded a new cell phone ring. “Too Much Time on My Hands.” Kinda sums it up, no?