Wooden lawn chair on the beachCollege has been a hot topic in our house. Two weeks ago, we moved TJ, our oldest, into the freshmen dorm at Elon University. He arrived well before the bulk of students so he could begin his new position as a videographer for the football team and its preseason camp. As we situated his dorm room with the stuff we’d carted up a flight of stairs, the seven year-old, Cort, asked in a matter-of-fact voice, “When do I get to live here?”

After the laughter dissipated, the inside of my chest twisted as I envisioned that future moment in time, an event hurling toward me with the speed of a white-hot meteor carving up the night sky. I hesitated to even blink my eyes, fearing I’d open them to find it was Cort we had dropped off instead of TJ. After all, it seems like only yesterday that TJ was seven.

Time’s ethereal nature derailed me again this weekend as we all traveled to Greenville, NC, home to East Carolina where I graduated from college. Susan had been asked to deliver a sample class to an area fitness center that was considering bringing on an additional program. Once I’d dropped her off on Saturday morning, I took the two younger boys around the campus to show them the school I’d attended. Their interest in college had been heightened from TJ’s new adventure.

As we watched the teenagers move into the old dorm I’d lived as a freshmen, it hit me I’d been doing the same thing exactly twenty-five years ago. At least that’s the answer I came up with when I subtracted the year I’d graduated high school from the current year. How could that be right? It felt like it should only be ten years ago. What happened to all the time in between? I don’t feel any different in body than that 18 year-old who moved in so long ago. But I do know I’m wiser now, and if I could have that time again, I would try more, do more, live more.

I’ve watched in disbelief as time has accelerated over the years, something most people in their forties and beyond will attest happens in disturbing surges, each one faster than the last. It’s downright alarming the way the future rushes toward you when you aren’t paying attention. Nothing can halt its building momentum, but there is something you can do to ease the brutal reality that all the time you think you have will disappear in a flash:

Make the most of every moment.

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