Windows of time. Our lives are completely comprised of these. For example, this summer, I had a window of time where I thought to myself "Mandy, I sure love that lake/sunshine hair you have going.... Maybe stop brushing your hair for the whole summer." What resulted, is this (prepare yourselves for this visual treat):
I know what you are thinking -- and no, I was not arrested. This is not my mug shot. It's also not a picture of Nick Nolte, Gary Busey, Phil Spektor, or anything else other than a breathtaking photo of me, in all of my non-hair brushing glory. Needless to say, my friends -- after this picture was taken (by myself, because I sometimes have no shame), that window slammed shut. Donezo. Hello Aussie 3 Minute Miracle and a lots of expletives shouted alone in the bathroom.
Why do I frighten you with this photo, you may be asking? To prove a point. My point is that our lives are likes quilts -- lots of little squares, stitched together to make the big picture. Windows of time. Some call them phases, or era, or trends... But I like to think of them as windows of time. Why windows? Because they are transparent, and allow us to reflect on what's passing.
Side note: I keep looking myself in the face in that picture while I am typing, and I can't stop giggling at it. It's so Mad Scientist chic. Maybe that, like culottes, will come into style? (Side note: Don't even get me started on culottes. I know that I did it this time, but don't ever bring it up again. I don't support it. Harumph.)
Back to my point... During these windows of time in our lives, we can experience and see a ridiculous amount of stuff. No matter how small the window, no matter how thinly it's left open, life can slip in an abundance of things -- pain, happiness, elation, sorrow, complacency... You name it, it can get in. But that's the beauty of life. It's kind of like Mary Poppins' magic bag -- it holds so much more than you think you can handle. Just like us. You never know what has slipped into the window of time of the person standing next to you, or your coworker, or the person at the coffee shop. Sometimes our windows of time are open really wide, and for a long time, but we don't catch much other than the normal day to day. No drama, nothing. Which can be so, so refreshing. It's always nice to open up the windows after a time of being shut in and let the sun and air wash all of the cobwebs away. It's those windows of time that we take the most for granted. When something difficult slips in the window, we often find ourselves longing for the carefree days of just airing out our souls.
Sometimes the windows of time that we have are ones that we need to act on quickly. We know the window won't be open for very much longer, and we have a goal in mind. These can be the most disappointing when they close. I know that sometimes I feel take it super personally - I feel as if the window slams shut on me before I have time to act. But more often than not, I know that I've just been sitting there, watching the sunshine and the breeze come in through it, while it has gradually closed. But it's when it starts to close that I am seized with fear and have to act FAST! Basically, I'm lazy. :P
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy sitting by the window as much as the next
puppy dog person ... Well, maybe not as much as these two...
I find that the older that I get, and the more mindful I am about my world and my life, I'm noticing these windows of time. Not just the ones filled with urgency or an expiration date, but the day to day ones as well. I can feel when something is drawing to a natural close, or become acutely aware of something ramping up to start anew. I don't always have it spot on, but as with anything, the ebb and flow of life has multiple paces and feelings. So I guess the point of all of this is to remind you all to really listen to what your life is telling you. Listen for the windows to open -- sometimes they slam open with the wind, and other times they just quietly slide. But if you really pay attention, and really try, you can sense the change in the air. It's what you choose to do with that window of time that is the most important. It may be time for a period of reflection and observation, or it may be time to act, and to act quickly. It's totally up to you (usually! :P)
For right now, I'll sit here and reflect on the literal window that I have the chance to gaze out of every day, at the sunshine and the flowers growing outside. And I'll wait for the next time I hear or feel that window latch give a little bit, and dream and wonder about what may slip in while it's open.