“What? Already?”

Dear Reader:

Maybe it is just this time of year…or the fact that a lot of changes and unforeseen circumstances have taken place since New Year’s Eve…but I find myself wondering about time and remembering mother and my aunts lamenting the speed of time and warning me that “Just wait…one day you will understand where we are now…The older you get, the faster time seems to go.”

I am there now.

Libby has five grandchildren and calls them her “Fabulous Five” or “Fab Five” affectionately. So now that I have five grandchildren I started thinking about what would be a good name for my “crew.”

I looked up descriptive adjectives starting with a “f.” I could one “up” fabulous with “fantabulous” but that seems a little snarky. I kind of liked the “fabled” five…but then that depends on what kind of fable results from their lives…good or not so good. The right word hasn’t jumped out at me yet….though “fascinating” comes close, because each and everyone of them has their own unique, ever-changing personalities. It truly is fascinating to watch them grow up.

The Ya’s spend a lot of time (when we get together) talking about time . For awhile it seemed that we were in a middle-aged stationary status quo… just waiting on our Social Security checks to add onto our S.C. Retirement checks.

After finally getting to this important benchmark in state retirees’ lives…health issues, ranging from annoying to aggravating, to adversative started cropping up more regularly.

We have learned that the adage “Time flies faster when you’re having fun” doesn’t “fly” either…whether good times or bad times…time marches on.

According to Philip Yaffe (“Why does time go faster as we get older“) this universal time problem does have to do with benchmarks. Here is an excerpt that explains it better…

Yaffe, after reading lots of articles on time passage, did what he realized he should have done to start with…take a pause and ponder it in his own mind. He came up with two words to help explain this particular time phenomenon.

“Finally, I decided to sit quietly and ponder the matter myself. This turned about to be a wise decision, because I think I found the solution. It’s really quite simple. It all has to do with “anticipation” and “retrospection.”

When anticipated, each new significant event seems to be excruciatingly far away. However, after the event, we regularly look back and exclaim. “Did it really happen that long ago?”

Our first love, our first heartbreak, driving a car, landing a job, marriage, having children, etc. When we look forward, all these milestones seem impossibly far in the future. However once achieved, how quickly they recede into the past.

The older we get, the more milestones we have to look back on. So the farther and faster they appear to recede. So if sometimes the clock may seem to have stopped, the calendar always continues racing ahead.

If accumulating milestones is truly the secret of the accelerating years, what do we do about it? Basically nothing; we just have to accept it. However, this is not necessarily a negative. True, the good things are coursing away faster and faster into the past. But so are the not-so-good things.

The story is told of the biblical King Solomon. He once called his wise men together and presented them with a challenge. “Find me a cure for depression.” They meditated for a long time, then gave him the following advice. “Your Majesty, make yourself a ring and have engraved thereon the words: This too shall pass.” He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad or depressed, he looked at the inscription, which tended to lift his spirits.

“This too shall pass.” Indeed, it shall. Whether positive or negative, nothing in life lasts forever, even if it sometimes feels as if it will. We are certain of this because we know even life on earth itself doesn’t last forever.

The author concludes that based on his age now…he probably has two or maybe three decades of potential life left… “However, the years are accelerating, so when it does occur my most probable reaction will be: “What! Already!”


It is hard for me to believe that at one time I was hoping to be around to see my first grandchild born and now I have five beautiful grandchildren, my own wonderful children and their amazing spouses…life is so good. So my last thoughts will probably be…not “What? and Already?” but “Thank You God for the Time Bonus.”

I, also, want to pause and recognize some of your comments you have written in this New Year…there is so much talent out there among all of you. This one, today, is from Mev Shieder. It was so lyrical…soothing to mind and heart.

Mevelyn Fraser Shieder Happy news–successful eye surgery! My lamentations over hearing problems are quickly drowned out by thanksgiving for vision which is still capable of seeing the beauty all around us! ‘Tis true “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder,” but eyes define “what” we see while our heart determines “how” we see it. We are so blessed by all of the beauty your “happy heart” sees and your loving heart shares with us

*Yesterday and Tuesday I spent a lot of time working in my garden with all five grandchildren’s trees. I added rich potting soil, cow manure, water, and pine straw. It felt like I was tucking each grandchild in for their long winter’s nap. Then I added either a pink or blue ribbon on each one’s tree. Some of their name plates are getting weather-worn but Anne offered to repaint the names this spring when they begin to blossom again. So sweet. By then I should have Eloise’s new name plate too!)

*In the meantime I do have a photograph tree…will be adding on more branches until we get a photo of everyone with our newest family addition.




































So until tomorrow…”This too shall pass”….winter will leave and spring will come. There will be blossoms on all the grandchildren’s trees. So much to look forward to…right now…as well as the future.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh





About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to “What? Already?”

  1. bcparkison says:

    Still love your tree idea. It will be so much fun watching them grow along with the children.


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