little baby feet birth stock

I remember my parents constantly telling me to “stop wishing for time to go faster, one day you’ll wish it slows down and by then it’ll be too late."

Being a know-it-all kid, in my eyes the adults in my life obviously had no idea what they were talking about. Of course I knew better than them — I have lived life on my own terms, with little responsibility and had every idea how to gauge the measurement of time. I knew I wanted to be in the double digits, then a teenager and who can wait to drive? Sixteen couldn’t come fast enough. But at that point, why not wish you were 18, then 21? All of these years that seemed to take forever in my naive mind.

I can’t pinpoint the exact year I stopped wishing time away, but it was in my early 20s and the only reason I was able to do so was because I had a baby and realized I could now measure time in the here and now and not the future as I wished for that next milestone.

If it weren’t for having my daughter and seeing how fast she hit milestones, I don’t know if I would have learned how to appreciate time. The first six to eight months of having an infant were a complete blur, and each day after that has been a whirlwind.

We went from having an infant to participating in Itty Bitty sports at the Y to kindergarten and so many other sports during elementary.

Junior high...how did that creep up so fast?

Once she became a freshman, it’s like time sped up even more. Last weekend, we celebrated our one and only child’s high school graduation. In the blink of an eye, she went from kindergarten to college, and I sit here wondering where the time went and how it could go so fast when I used to think it was standing still. This makes me feel a bit uneasy about the future and how fast I think it will go, but I also know that we need to practice being more present and stop letting time pass by without realizing it.

So enjoy each day as if there is no tomorrow, and try to soak up all of the things that come your way. The faster life goes, the more intentional we need to be. Go have dinner or coffee with a loved one. Attend that summer barbecue or concert. Make a point to be present at your kids' and grandkids' events. Take a walk and notice the little things that you have once passed by without noticing. Whatever you do, try not to be too busy doing things in life that don’t allow you to enjoy what you truly want to cherish. Time is precious and will pass us by before we know it.

Desiree Pearce is Sheridan County YMCA's health and wellness director. 

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