Do you ever count the minutes in an hour? The hours in a day?
Tremendously awkward is how I would describe my relationship with time. More than once it has left me in a tizzy. Like when the first nineteen years of my life vanished from my memory. That leaves a person feeling a bit strange about time…part of me feels like I have only been here fourteen or so years, but that isn’t the case. I have clocked over three decades on this planet. Whether I remember or not.
I clock watch. A lot. I am always waiting for the time to come: time to check blood sugars, time to take insulin, time to eat, time to check again, time to take more insulin, time to eat again. Always waiting. No matter where I run to or what fantasy I have drifted in to, the reality of my disease always pulls me back in.
I mentioned I am a Type 1 Diabetic, during a discussion with my neighbour. Oh, that’s the bad one, isn’t it? Forgive me, but what I wanted to say was, any fucking chronic illness or disease is bad. Instead, I replied, it tends to be a bit more work, yep – five to seven (or more) shots a day. And she, did what a lot of people do when I explain what I do daily to manage my diabetes, shuttered and says, oh my goodness, I couldn’t do that. So what should I do? Off myself? I don’t like taking five to seven injections each day or pricking my finger and counting down countless times (fingers crossed for a good number) to results before/after every meal and when I do not feel well. Sheesh. But that’s what I do. And it can be so consuming at times. If not all the time.
I also count the minutes and hours while I pretend to sleep. I have struggled with sleeping nearly my whole life. Growing up my brothers were all marathon sleepers. At least, when they were allowed to be. Me? I have always been an early riser. Perhaps, it can be attributed to my birth at 5:35 am. I have read people with diabetes can sometimes struggle with sleep, especially if you have to wake up at 3 am for a blood glucose check or if you are on schedule to check every two hours. But I struggled long before my diagnosis. Maybe more so after.
I do not wear a watch. I will check the time if I need to know it, but I do not like bindings and so will not be bound to time via a splashy wrist band.
Is that the time?
Even though I refuse to don a time piece I have never been late for anything. Mind you, I have encountered delays en route to things, but I leave with ample time always. Punctuality is important to me. I believe it is a sign of respect. And I do not like to be kept waiting.
I am always conscious of the time. When to arrive or depart, the amount of time left. Well, almost. Yesterday I had some ink done. My friend is my tattoo artist, so it always turns into a gab-fest (she is located nearly an hour away and we don’t see each other much, unless she is working on me) and I was shocked to see the boys walk into the shop to pick me up. So was my friend. We said in unison, is it already 5 o’clock??? Apparently it had been over two and a half hours since our last break. Which felt like it had been five minutes prior. That almost never happens to me. I could not believe those hours escaped me like that. Sneaky.
They do say time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess that was one of those moments.
But there are other days when the time slips away. Seemingly faster and faster. And you simply cannot catch it. Those days there is never enough time. Ever. And desperation, scrambling, crying get you nowhere. The sands of the hourglass slipping ever quicker…
I discovered a whole new species of time gobbler once I became a parent. I am not saying my wee one gobbles all my time, though he consumes a large portion of it during his waking hours. I am crediting him with the ability to stretch time out. To give it extra life. No one is better at milking it than kids. And that pertains to most things. But especially time!
When you become a parent time is a big deal. You need time to be on your side. You never seem to have enough of it to do everything. Something will always be sacrificed in the name of time. And then you have this little person who grows at an exponential rate on top of all of that making you think, where does all the time go?
As the wee ones get older time plays a different role in it all. Most parents introduce time out or a version of that. Children begin to learn the meaning and value of time. And then they learn to manipulate it as we all did. Bending time. Stretching time. Rearranging it. Milking it. Teenagers get curfews or a time to be home. They break it, ignore it. They distort it. Time becomes more valuable as we get older. We have more stuff to fit in. And even though we have more stuff to do we do not get more time.
Over time we watch our children grow and our parents also age. We age ourselves, though most people deny this process until, well, some forever I guess. But denial is only a temporary serum.
Somewhere out there is a clock waiting to shout time’s up. And when it does, it really is…