Friday, June 4, 2010

The Clock Keeps Ticking

Picture from here:

I'm getting old. I know that's not news to those who know me, but I seem to be reminded lately on a daily basis. It's not a bad thing; in fact, I'm rather enjoying the process. There are, however, some stark realizations along the way.

Last night we received last minute free tickets to a minor league baseball game from someone who couldn't use the tickets. My husband, two daughters, one grandson, and I went for a lovely evening in the ballpark. My grandson is about to celebrate his first birthday. He was the best little guy last night! He had a great time watching people, listening to the music, enjoying the fresh air, and bouncing from one person to the next. Long after his normal bedtime he was still grinning and laughing. I had a really good time enjoying both the game and little Joey last night. By the time I got home, though, I was wiped out! I'm barely functioning today after a night's sleep! What happened to the days when I bounced babies at ballparks and then went home to laundry and cleaning and got up the next morning to do it all over again? As we left the ballpark, I watched my pregnant daughter carry Joey on her hip, with a diaper bag strapped to her back. I knew I should offer to carry Joey, but I just didn't think I'd make it to the parking lot without hyperventillating! So I waited until we were halfway to the car and said, "Do you want Dad to carry Joey?" Knowing Dad is 12 years my senior, she declined. I've experienced this same feeling over the last few months with the rest of my grandchildren. I love them to pieces and cherish each moment I'm with them--but, wow, what a revelation as to my lack of stamina.

A couple of months ago I painted my family room and made new drapes. The room required more than one coat, and I actually accepted help with some of the work. It doesn't seem that long ago that I painted that room all by myself in one day with energy to spare.

There are definite advantages in growing older, though. When I speak, people seem to listen more--as if I might really have something worthwhile to say. The irony is that because I'm getting older, I'm also getting more cynical. If people had listened to me 20-30 years ago, they probably would have found solutions to world problems; now I'm part of the problem.

If I make a mistake, people forgive me because they presume "I'm losing it." What's not to forgive in my "matronly" face? Doesn't everybody love a fuzzy-faced, wrinkled granny?

I've decided to embrace my age. I can't change it, so I may as well go along for the ride. Hiding under the covers is not an option, although wrapping myself in bubble wrap when around my grandkids might be. Just kidding! As the clock keeps ticking, I hope I remember to live each day to the fullest. I don't want to waste a moment wishing I were young again. Each new day should be embraced and appreciated. As the old Timex watch slogan goes, "It takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

My Grandfather's Clock

By Henry Clay Work

My Grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor.
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Yet it weighed not a pennyweight more.

It was bought on the morn on the day that he was born,
It was always his treasure and pride.
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering,
Tick tock tick tock.
His life’s seconds numbering,
Tick tock tick tock.
But it stopped short,
Never to run again,
When the old man died

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours he had spent when a boy.
And through childhood and manhood, the clock seemed to know,
And to share both his grief and his joy.

For it struck 24 when he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride.
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Tick tock tick tock,
Not a servant so faithful he’d found.
Tick tock tick tock.
For it kept perfect time,
And it had one desire,
At the close of each day to be wound.

As it kept to its place, not a frown upon its face,
As its hands never hung by its side.
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm in the still of the night,
An alarm that for years had been dumb.
And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight,
That his hour of departure had come.

Still the clock kept the time,
Tick tock tick tock,
With a soft and muffled chime,
Tick tock tick tock,
As we silently stood by his side.
But it stopped, short, never to go again,
When the old man died.


  1. I can already feel my clock ticking away and I know I am way too young for that!

  2. I find my grandchildren EXHAUSTING even when they're being good! Even three years ago, I could keep up, but now I seem to sit and watch them run around me!

  3. Gabrielle ValentineJune 7, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    I loved this post, Laurie. I love the lyrics you included here, too. I've stopped to reflect on many things you've said in your blog, etc. I can see how as time goes by the same things that were easy are a little more difficult. I find this even now - I used to be able to run 7 miles without stopping, now I can barely get down the block, walking. Not just that - a lot of tasks are different - lifting anything, being sharp minded, even my eyes don't focus as well - and I don't see those things recovering, I just see them getting gradually worse.