January 2022, Here and Gone

It’s 2022 and January is already over. Where did it go and what did I do? Time goes by fast and disappears into the ether. I can’t get it back. Time moves forward whether I do anything or not.

I value time more now than when I was younger. I’m retired and the boss of my own time. I’ve always stayed busy, working a full-time job, while also making music. Time with my family and friends is a top priority. Finally, I have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. Yet time quickly fades from sun into twilight. I can never get it back. Why do I let it tick by with nothing to show? Do I take time for granted? Pandemic depression?

A few days ago, I read a sweet story in the New York Times about a second grader who handwrote a book and put it on a shelf in his local library. It’s got misspelled words and roughly drawn illustrations, but he set out to do it and is proud of his accomplishment. Someone at the library found the book and checked it out, and now there’s a long waiting list of folks waiting to read it. This boy is inspiring other kids to write books. It also inspired this grandma writing to you now. He was compelled to write a book and he did it. Creative people don’t question what it is they need to create, they simply do it. It’s their passion, a spark, a gift they were born with.

Unfortunately, some people learn from childhood to suppress that spark. Often it’s because of comments from insensitive authority figures. People of all ages are disadvantaged, busy, distracted, or overwhelmed by the complications of life. They hide that spark or push it down, but it’s still there, like a tiny seed under the dirt. Give it a little light and sprinkle on a little water, and it just might come out.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do think of the new year as a marker to begin anew. While I wait out the cold Midwest winter, I’m working on some projects that I’ll talk about in future essays. I’ve got the time. Just now, I typed up this stream-of-consciousness piece about writing, with my only goal to not worry about perfection and get it out into the world.

Keep on flying, 2022. I’m grabbing ahold of your tailwind to see where it goes.