“Don’t count the days, make the days count.”
In my old life, I’d count down to exciting events; T-3 days til a space shuttle launch, or 17 days til vacation, or the ever present count down to Christmas. They were fun reminders that something beautiful was about to happen. Time couldn’t move fast enough for me.
Then Dan got sick with the Big C. I still counted days, but the fun part was gone. Now it was T-7 days til the next chemo cycle, or 5 days til PET scan results. Time kept passing. And it kept speeding up. The day the Doc told us it was time to stop fighting, I went from counting days to tracking hours and minutes. And just a week later the day came that Hospice told me we had only a few hours left at all. Time couldn’t move slowly enough for me. I would have sold my soul for a T.A.R.D.I.S if it meant slowing things down so I could have him just a little longer.
And then after he died, the counting changed again. I found myself making a tick mark for every day I survived AD (After Dan), like a prisoner or castaway tracking time passing. The first month was an eternity. The first nine months were hell. At first the tick marks were carved in my heart with a knife, brutal reminders that it was another day without him. I no longer wanted time to pass, begging it to run backwards so I could have him back. But as time passed without my consent, each time I logged a new day in my journal, I was seeing proof that I was still alive, and surviving, even if it didn’t always feel that way.
So does being “retired” and living the life of an adventurer mean I’ve given up counting days? Hell no. I still count days, but now each mark is a celebration and a reminder to not just count the days, but to make each day count. Each day I wake up and ask myself what I’ll do to Live Now!
Today marks 133 days of this incredible adventure. And while I no longer mark off the days since Dan died, today also marks a year-and-a-half AD. Each day that goes by, I learn more about myself and more about this crazy thing we call life. I’ve learned that wild adventures are only part of the story. The quiet still moments are equally important, and I treasure each of them. Time is no longer my enemy. I don’t attempt to speed it up, or slow it down. I just try to live in each moment as it happens.
Cheers to making each day count, whether you count them or not.
The Wandering Widow
Live Now. Dream Big. Love Fierce.
P.S. Only 355 days til Christmas.