So Little Time – So Much Time

Photo courtesy Carole Leskin

Photo courtesy Carole Leskin

For so many years, I gave little thought to growing old. I was growing older – but I was fine with that. Nowadays, when I wake up early in the morning, sleepless yet again, I look in the mirror and see an old woman.

It’s not just my physical appearance. It’s the exhaustion from fighting the battle to stay alive. Fighting fear. Finding ways to make life meaningful when there so often seems to be no meaning. Fending off the extraordinary loneliness that being an isolated solo ager in the time of COVID has awakened.

Time! It is endless. Days, hours, minutes have no consequence. There is so much time!

I diligently make a list of all the things I want to do. All the things I never had the time to do but always wanted to do. It is exciting! I post the list on my bedroom wall, prominently displayed next to my calendar. I remember when the calendar was full – almost every day with at least one event to look forward to. Now, it is largely empty. An occasional online class or Zoom meetup. But mostly reminders of when to pay the bills and telemed visits occupy the spaces.

“What is the point of growing old” I find myself asking the reflection in the mirror? I know that every day should be a gift. How many do I have left? The plans I had, the dreams still alive, the things yet to accomplish. I am 75. There is so little time!

Ah! The awful irony. Covid19 has done what was thought to be only in the realm of science fiction. It has altered the Universe and now – I have so much time!

I am overwhelmed. Frozen. I watch helplessly, listlessly, as the list mocks my inaction, my lack of attention, my drive, my very spirit. Days go by. But time stands still. It is quicksand, sucking me into a bottomless pit.

I am an old woman. I have no sense of time.

I am a ghost.

About Carole Leskin
Carole Leskin is a retired Director of Global Human Resources. Embarking on a second career as a writer and photographer concentrating on her personal accounts of aging, her essays and poetry, frequently accompanied by her photos, are published in Jewish Sacred Aging, Jewish Women of Words, Starts At 60, Navigating Aging ( a Kaiser Health publication) Women's Older Wisdom, Time Goes By and Next Avenue. Her poems, Father Time and Carole's Debate were selected for inclusion in the 2019 anthologies of poetry, New Jersey Bards. Her photos have been featured in Mart R Porter Nature Forum.

6 Comments

  1. This article is quite dark in its aspect. I have enjoyed your writing over the past few years. I do understand your thinking about this time in your life. I just celebrated my 81st birthday (celebrate is stretching it a bit)! I understand how you feel. I, too, have tried to find reasons to keep busy with mostly insignificant busy work. I Zoom, I write two newsletters. One for my HOA and one for my temple Chavurah group. It is a difficult time to be Queenagers! Deep in my heart I feel that this tough time will soon pass and we can live in the true sense of that word. Live. I wish you better days ahead. Try to not let this moment in time get the best of you. There still will be things to look forward to! Take care and know so many enjoy your writing!

    • Thank you for your concern Linda. I suppose it is dark. It is also a reflection of how I feel… not all of the time but some of it. I want to write honestly about what it is like growing older for me. Not just the happy, nature loving me but whatever else is me. I believe most people are many sided…but we are afraid to show all our sides. I happen to believe it would be better and healthier to get them out in the open and remove the need for a smiley face all the time.
      I appreciate your feedback. It is what keeps me writing!

  2. Thank you for your reply. I look forward to your continued posts online! No one prepares us for getting older. It is an adventure we all travel on our own. Stay safe!

    • Thanks for reading my posts Linda…and for engaging in conversation. I wish more people felt comfortable doing so. We learn so much from one another.

  3. Hi Carole, I’m experiencing similar feelings but being very much encouraged that as more people get vaccinated the COVID threats are disappearing like fog in the sunshine. Looking after my health, reading, doing needlepoint, investing strategies, and keeping up with all the news on CNN keeps me quite busy, but I also have a new circle of caregivers and friends (volunteers and family) who keep fresh news and insights coming into my world. So far, so good! I’m 73.

    • Sounds like you are making the most of your time. Good for you! We will all get through this together, and I hope, with a new appreciation for time.

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