Reflecting on another year’s passing in Richmond

2013 has arrived, we’ve made it through the end of the Mayan calendar, and the NHL is about to start up again.  Where did all the time go?  It seems each year time speeds up its breakneck pace.

Of course we all have our markers to measure the passage of time.  For me, it is always the people in my life.  I mark the years based on the birthdates of my children.  I gauge my aging by how old they’ve become.  Is my youngest really in kindergarten already?  Is my eldest truly in high school?  When I’m asked how old I am, I have to think of my children’s ages and then add the requisite numbers of years.

How is it that I’m in my forties already?  When did people start calling me Ma’am?  When did that first silver hair appear on my head?

These questions are really all precursors to the biggest, most pressing answer:  how much more time do I have?  I comfortably figure that I’m more than halfway through my life now.  What am I going to do with the remaining years?

Too much of my time seems to be spent on small stuff: cleaning the house, sorting through papers, vacuuming the car, even sleeping.  There are so many things out there for me to do; why is it that cleaning the kitchen always seems to be the top priority?  Yes, cleanliness and organization is important but if I skip one day’s tidy up and go for a walk on the dyke with a friend instead, which enriches my life more?

My new year’s resolution, is not to make myself more fit or quit one of my many bad habits, it is to make my life more full.  Each week I hope to do something that really enriches my life, something that might fit on my Richmond “bucket list.”

There are so many little things that I’ve wanted to do in my own beloved city: bike around Richmond on the dykes, go for a bowl of congee on No. 3 Road for breakfast, go kayaking around Shady Island.   Little pleasures.  Time is limited;  if I don’t do these things now, I may never get the chance.

It won’t slow time down but maybe, somehow, it will make me feel that each day has really lived up to its potential.

Happy New Year.

Andrea Phillpotts is a Richmond writer and teacher. Opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of any school district, organization, or school.

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