Blink and suddenly you begin to hear people talking about you in terms like, ‘She’s in the autumn of her life, she’s in her golden years, or the dreadful-evening of life’…who would ever want to go to sleep! Regardless how you describe me, I just keep asking, how did I get here? Wasn’t it just a few years ago that I was young girl without a care in the world? I recall my grandmother saying that as you get older life goes faster, and it seems to be so true and this year as I hit a big number on my life’s journey…I found myself saying over and over yikes what happened when I wasn’t looking!

memory lane memory bank slow down autumnSo, here I sit in the autumn of my life, looking back. Did I allow life to rush by me without appreciating every sunrise and sunset? Did I disobey the order to slow down and smell the roses? After pondering these questions for a while, I realized that my answer was no, I recall every moment of my life. Times of laughter and love, sometimes sadness but I was “there” to live it. I sat and talked for hours with my mother and watched her cook. I sat in the summer grass and watched my father tend to his beautiful flowers, I watched him pinch the dead roses off the bushes so that next year the blooms would be plentiful.

When I became a mom, I held each of my sons longer than I needed to when they took their bottles. Sang to them and told them I would love them for every day of my life. Watched them play and watched them sleep. How many times I spent my Saturday’s at the soccer field in the concession stand helping my two older sons. Oh yes, it was their job and the promises that they would do it all by themselves were pledged, but the story didn’t play that way. I made Frito pies, hot dogs, wrapped pickles and iced sodas until I hated the smell of chili and pickles… but I would not trade a single moment of those days.

When my job moved me to another city just 6 weeks before year-end I had to leave my boys with family to finish the semester. Every Friday I rushed to the airport, flew home, and rushed to the football field to watch my youngest play football. I must admit however that usually when the players piled up on the field I had closed my eyes not wanting to see him injured and cheered loudly when he got to his feet.

The plays, the soccer games, driving carpool to the skating rink…all of those things are now safely tucked away in my memory “bank” waiting for a day that I need to make a withdrawal. Someday, I may be sitting alone watching the sun go down but my memory bank is full ready for me to remember. Sure, I wish that I had done more, read more books to them, taken more walks but I tried to always “be there” for them. Heaven help the person that did something against my boys, I may have been little but I was mighty. My family is everything to me, the time with them is more valuable than gold.

I feel so sad when I hear people say, “I wish that I had spent more time with the people in my life.” I doubt that anyone has ever said they regret not spending more time working instead of being with my family and friends. Just imagine 20 years down the road trying to recall what you did in a meeting…but you remember the touchdowns, making cookies with your mother or children, those are the memories that really matter.

memory lane memory bank slow down autumnSo, take my advice, if your autumn years are still a long, long way down that dusty road of life, take time to slow down and smell the roses. Spend time with your family, friends or even just with yourself. Sit in the dark on a summer night and watch fireflies, really look at the stars. Dare to just daydream.

The dishes will still be there waiting for you, the dirty clothes too, that I can promise you! Don’t wait for “someday”…that someday may never come. Live today, enjoy today and when the time comes you can rock in that chair and smile as you replay those days gone by. The best thing about making memories…is making them!