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The cruelest thief

Published May 04. 2013 09:02AM

It's not fair.

Somebody stole April away from me. Puff - just like that, the entire month disappeared.

I know why people keep saying, "Time flies." It's because it's a truism.

I don't know how the month of April slipped away before I even realized it was here.

I think someone stole it.

Because it's the month of my birth, I've always made April special. It's MY month and I celebrate my birthday all month, spacing out my celebrations with friends.

This year, looking at the calendar as I prepared to make a birthday trip with my husband, I realized April would be over before we got back.

I had to write to friends telling them we would celebrate our April birthdays in May. Or better yet, June.

I keep thinking about what I accomplished when I worked full time and still managed to have regular get-togethers with friends and lots of professional meetings with colleagues around the state.

I also found time to go to the gym, to take Moe Jerant's weekly djembe drumming class and to go on fun outings with my Allentown-Bethlehem friends.

Now, I sit back and wonder, how did I do it and still work long hours. How did I find the time for all that?

A bigger question: Why can't I do it now?

Why can't I accomplish half of what I did when I was working?

After pondering this problem for a while and analyzing how I spend my time, I decided I'm not making the best use of my nights. When I worked, I used the nighttime hours extremely well, even if it meant washing clothes at midnight.

Now, I run around like the energizer bunny during the day. But when the sun goes down, it takes my energy and my motivation with it. Then I curl up with a book or watch a movie on TV.

I love those old movies from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. But if I watch a movie from 9 to 11 p.m., the night is gone and I realize I didn't do much with it.

In an effort to gain better control of my time, I have banned TV from my life. I give myself permission to watch "Dancing with the Stars" once a week, but that's it.

Now, I use that time to take an evening walk and do chores like paying bills and answering email.

I still don't think I have enough time.

My brother called me from Pennsylvania when I was out. That's not a regular occurrence and I was anxious to talk with him.

I'm ashamed to say that it took me three weeks to call him back. When I did, we both commiserated about time slipping away too fast.

"When you're older, time flies faster than during your working years," my brother says. "The older you get, the more you try to hang onto each day. But it flies faster and faster each year no matter what you do."

He's right. The puzzle I keep trying to solve is how to hang onto time and make the weeks last longer.

I try little tricks to make the most of my days but they still melt away faster than ice cream in the sun.

To keep better track of my days, I followed a suggestion I read about and started a daily journal. That way, I can look back and at least know how I spent the month or the year.

But here's the rub. Sometimes I get weeks behind in journaling. Why? I claim it's because I run out of time.

What's going on here?

Are you having the same problem controlling time?

Is there anything we can do to slow the passage of time - or at least give us more control over our time?

One thing I always manage to do is to live each day fully. I try not to squander time.

But even with all that, I have two problems: There never seems to be enough time and months melt away too fast. Years do, too.

As I add another candle to my birthday cake, I can't believe the year evaporated so quickly. I tell myself I just had a birthday. It can't be time for another one.

Time is passing far too fast.

Is there a solution for that?

You tell me.

Maybe someone has some tips, observations or suggestions.

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