time, the middle aged mom and me. photo of white lady with reddish blonde hair and a black cat on her shoulder. she is wearing thick glasses and smiling slightly

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I wanted this to be a personal post like hauʻoli makahiki hou – a year sum up – but in the end, the time to write it was as elusive as mercury. And so. This is mostly about time.

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Time speeds up when we get older.

Remember that movie, “Groundhog Day”? Remember how he has to re-live the same day, over and over until he gets it completely right, and about three-quarters into the movie, they speed the movie up, cutting in between days to show the days are different from each other? And it feels so fast. But so much of the same.

Blink, another day went by.

Blink again, and it’s been a week.

That’s how time feels to me now – moving so swiftly that even as I reach out to try and contain it a little, slow it a smidge – it’s already gone. One moment, the next. Gone, with only the glimmering trails of the memories made in that twinkling space.

close up photo of a yellow palm

I’m 50 this year.

It’s a big number for me. The pain of being 50 when my brother Dana left this world at 44 hurts my heart. I can’t believe I’m turning 50 and he didn’t. I can’t believe I’m turning 50 and he isn’t here. I can’t believe I’m turning 50.

50 has so many layers.

I’m moving into this space in which time is passing so much faster, and the sum total of it moving forward will likely be less than I have behind me. I have less time here than I have spent. That’s fine with me – in no way am I scared of death. I’m not scared of aging either. But what I don’t understand well yet is my place in the world at this stage.

Being 50 means I’m moving into the elder space. What does that even mean now? And what does it mean, when I live in a mainstream culture that values youth so much? What do I DO with any of the wisdom I might have gleaned over the slower years that I have passed through already?

close up of ti leaf

I have so many questions, and maybe it’s here that again, I miss my brother so much. He was the one I asked these kinds of questions to, my safe space to talk.

And he had those questions as well.

tiger orchids

Who are we at 50? Who are we as we age?

Are we becoming the people we want to be?

Am I?

I look at myself in the mirror sometimes and I don’t recognize myself.

Sometimes it’s because I look so much older – wow! That’s really me?! I look like a middle-aged mom!

  • Oh, but I am a middle-aged mom! Haha – it makes me laugh

Sometimes it’s because I look like I’m 12 and it takes me a minute to place that girl with who I now am.

Sometimes I love the way I look at this age. I love that I am developing some arm muscles!

photo of meriah's arm muscles

Sometimes I feel sad and despair of being squashed between my feelings and this youth-driven culture. Am I so desiccated? Will my physical form be desirable at all? Is it all downhill from here?

I look around for women to admire, someone famous who looks her age, who is my age or older, who has the sauce, smarts, kindness, and integrity that I admire. Those women are hard to find. I have a short list going – Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michelle Obama (does she even count though? She’s more of a demi-goddess, isn’t she?). Viola Davis. Michelle Yeoh. Alanis Morissette.

I guess I yearn for some sort of guide as I enter this new decade, this decade which feels more like a portal to a different time-space reality in my life.

close up of blossom

Almost 50

Now, more than ever, I realize that no one is going to save me. No one is going to discover me. No one will give me permission. If I’m going to go wherever it is that I want to go in this life, I better get going with that path, because it won’t make itself. It’s a sobering, scary thought, but also liberating, isn’t it? I mean, we really don’t need to wait for any of those things. We thought we did though. We waited a long time for them. But we didn’t need to.

I’m saying “we” because I really think it’s a bunch of us in this boat. We were brought up to ask permission for all things, brought to believe in the One Prince (or Princess or Non-Binary Person of Extreme Desire) who would ride in on some steed and save us. Or go viral. Or whatever. We forgot that Atreyu was made real by Bastian, that naming makes things real, that reality is exactly how we ourselves perceive it. Our stories are ours; it’s up to us to weave the ones we want.

Back to Time.

When I was a kid, I completely lived in the worlds that Madeline L’Engle created. I’d sit and think about her stories for hours, days, weeks, months, years. I’m still thinking about them. One of the things that enraptured me then and still does is her story of A Wind in the Door. In which a sister, a friend, an enemy and cherubim go into a blood cell to resolve universal balance. It’s about the cosmic interdependency of us all. The plants, the stars, us. It’s deep in the way that only the profoundly simple can be.


So I think about this. Time, moving like a swiftly flowing river, me in it and on it in this canoe of my life. Where is it headed, where is it going. How am I steering – am I even steering? Am I just floating? Am I just keeping my head above the water? How are my kids, do they have their life jackets on correctly, have I taught them to swim well enough? If this canoe capsizes and I go with the water, will my kids be strong enough to swim ashore and build their lives? Will they have the support they will need?

There are a lot of questions but ultimately, with time passing so rapidly, my goal is to simply stay present.

Live in this moment.

rainbow over our shadows

Be here.


Wrap my heart around these precious people of mine.

three kids walking, in halloween costumes

Savor this.

When it’s hard – when they are fighting and the laundry pile – and bills – are just too damn high – remember how quickly this time is pouring forward, flooding through my hands, my hands that try and still it. Remember this and do everything in my power to keep still inside, calm, and keep that moment compassionate. Because they are going to be grown and gone in two slow blinks if I’m lucky, one if I’m not.

mack by bayshore with a stick held up

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One Comment

  1. mark kent says:

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