First Days Never Get Easier

A collage of

A collage of past “first days” (photos by Julia Ozab)

Today, Julia and I sent Anna off on the school bus for her first day of fourth grade. Each year I think it will get easier, and each year I’m wrong. It never gets easier. If anything, it gets harder as we watch her grow up before our eyes. Year after year, photo after photo. It all happens too fast.

Why is that? Why do the days and the years rocket past for us? Why is she in such a hurry to grow up while we want it all to slow down so we can hold on to each moment just a little bit longer before it goes?

Is it because she grows more noticeably? Or because we don’t want to face how we’re getting older, but can’t deny that she’s growing up? Or is it because a year for us who’ve lived for many seems so much shorter than for those who’ve lived before?

Michael Stevens at VSauce (one of my favorite YouTube channels) has an interesting take on the last question. Perhaps it has to do with how we naturally perceive time. (Warning: Math ahead!)

(Go back to 2:07 for some background on additive vs. logarithmic counting, or to 0:00 to see people with too much time on their hands).

So if this is the case, and we who have passed the “middle age” of 9(!) can only look forward to our subsequent years racing past us faster and faster until their inevitable end, is there anyway at all for us to slow the rushing train down just a bit?

Yes.

So if you want to slow time down a bit, go out and do something new. It’s the novel experiences that stick with us and make for richer memories and fuller lives.

I can think of someone that makes my life a whole lot fuller than it would be. Someone who helps me see the world through fresh eyes and re-experience familiar things with a new sense of wonder.

Someone who keeps me young.

Anna's first day of fourth grade

2015

And as always, thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Bloggerhood Etc. 6/30/14

Reflecting trees in lake

Photo: Jon Eben Field (CC BY 2.0)

Maybe it’s because my dad is visiting us this week, but the posts I liked most seemed a little more reflective than usual. There’s an abundance of self-reflection, lots of looking back, and a little bit of silliness to break the serious stuff up in this round up of my favorite posts of the week.

Best Parenting Post.Why I’m Fine With My Kids Growing Up So Fast” by Aaron Gouveia at The Daddy Files.

Best Reflection.The Pressure of Definition” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Self-Analysis.A Generational Faith Journey Told by a Fortysomething GenXer” by Carmen Andres at In the Open Space.

Most Inspiring.This Beautiful Bride Wasn’t Going To Let Anything Stand In The Way Of Her Wedding — Not Even Cancer” by Cavan Sieczkowski at Huff Post Weddings.

Best Boast.I Ate the Rangers 2-Foot Korean Beef Sandwich and Lived” by Marc Normandin in SB Nation.

Best Milestone Post. “What Turning 40 Means to Me” by Alice Chaffins at Knitting Soul.

Best List.The 7 Biggest Mistakes of My Twenties” by Lindsay Morris at Relevant.

Best Special Needs Post.Privy to Joy” by Kara Dedert at Not Alone.

Best Spoken Word Poetry.You Can’t Keep Me Out” by Tamára Lunardo at A Deeper Story.

Best Advice.How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket” by The Rookie Dad.

Best Guide to Prayer.How a Protestant Learned to Pray Like a Catholic (and actually started LIKING prayer)” by Elisabeth Esther.

Best Video.This VIDEO will BLOW YOUR MIND and be the BEST PART OF YOUR DAY!” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

You won’t believe what happens next!

Five From Francis

A child takes off Pope Francis' white zucchetto, or skullcap, during a meeting with children and volunteers of the Santa Marta Vatican Institute, at the Vatican

Photo: AP/Gregorio Borgia

Today marks the first anniversary of Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio’s election to the Papacy, and the end of the first year of the Church’s walk under the guidance of Pope Francis. A year ago, I posted five thoughts on the Holy Father’s election. Today, I post five of his most memorable quotes from the last year along with my reflections on those quotes in light of his shepherding of the Church so far.

Bishops and priests must be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.” —Chrism Mass Homily, Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013.

Pastor—the word used in the United States from both Catholic priests and Protestant clergy—comes from the Latin verb pascere, meaning “to lead to pasture” or “to shepherd.” Yet clergy in our culture, and many others, are seen as set apart from mere laypeople. Popular preachers write best-selling books, build personality cults around themselves, and become rich off their flocks. Catholic priests surround themselves with an aura of mystery based on their Sacramental calling. Bishops and church leaders cozy up with the rich and the powerful while overlooking Christ in the powerless.

Francis sees the hypocrisy, and wants it to change. He knows that the Good Shepherd lays his life down for the sheep, and leaves the ninety-nine to chase down the one that is lost. He knows from his days as a priest and bishop in Buenos Aries, washing the feet of the poor and of prisoners what it means to “live with the smell of the sheep.”

Continue reading

What This Blog is About

Encourage synonyms

Via Google Image Search

I’ve been stuck for days trying to think of something to write in honor of my first 500 posts. Every draft I attempted came off as bragging when I went back and read it. Then I received a prompt word from Lisa-Jo Baker at Five Minute Friday and suddenly it became clear.

Encouragement.

Like all my writing, my blog is at its best when it encourages others. I discover this almost two-and-a half years ago, when I wrote one of my first guest posts for Alise Write! This is how she prefaced my post.

I connected with David on Twitter and he is a great encourager. In a world where people can be most concerned with promoting their own self-interest, it’s a delight to meet someone who encourages others.

I realized the goal of my writing that day, but I constantly need reminding. I get caught up in the details of word count, publishing opportunities,  pitching, and platform. I forget the point of my writing—to reach other people. To communicate at a deeper level. Above all, to encourage.

And then I’m reminded again.

I feel grateful to have connected with David Ozab in the Internet world this year. He has been a great encouragement to me as I launched my book out into the world this October, and I love the way he writes about faith and being a stay-at-home Dad.

Addie Zierman wrote this short introduction to my most recent guest post. And that key word returns. Encouragement.

Thank you, Addie, Alise, Lisa-Jo, and my many other colleagues for the regular reminder as to why I write.

And thank you for the encouragement.

Five Minute Friday

Bloggerhood Etc. 12/30/13

2013 rolls to 2014

Image: EraBegin.com

It’s the end of the year, so time for the best of the year! Here are my twenty favorite posts from around the Blogosphere for 2013 …

Best Humor Essay.Tim Tebow in the CFL: A Memoir” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Best Opening Line.Hiding from the Children” by Evelyn at Momsicle.

Best Question.Why Is This Not A ‘Weapon Of Mass Destruction’?” by Andrew Sullivan at The Dish.

Most Inspiring.Guiseley woman completes 1,000 mile challenge for Smile Train charity” by Chris Tate at The Bradford Telegraph and Argus.

Saddest Post.When Father’s Day Hurts” by Tamára Lunardo at Tamára Out Loud.

Best Video.Candy Crush Saga is Evil” by Glove and Boots.

Most Encouraging.Why My Christian Memoir has R-Rated Words” by Addie Zierman at Convergent Books Blog.

Most Likely to Give Fundamentalists (Yet Another) Aneurism.Everyone’s a Biblical Literalist Until You Bring Up Gluttony” by Rachel Held Evans.

Best Open Letter.An Open Letter to the Worst Wax Museum in America” by Jamie Lee Curtis Taete at VICE.

Best Video Game Character.Breaking Madden: The Return of BEEFTANK, the Jaguars 5 Foot, 400 Pound Quarterback” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Best Excerpt.Someone just stabbed that man” by Cheryl Strayed at Slate.

Best Interview. “A Big Heart Open to God: The Exclusive Interview with Pope Francis” by Antonio Spadero, S.J. in America.

Best Comic.Calvin & Hobbes’ Daddy Bill Watterson Proves Why Stay At Home Moms and Dads Rule” by Gavin Aung Tang. Reposted by Andrew Kardon at Mommy’s Busy, Go Ask Daddy.

Best Guest Post.One Small Change: Tipping My Hand” by Carla Strickland at Addie Zierman’s How To Talk Evangelical.

Most Heartbreaking.A Man Chronicles His Wife’s Battle with Cancer in Heartbreaking Photographs” by Katy Waldman at Slate.

Best Dad Post.An Everyday Dad Job Description” by Thomas Blevins at Elevate Dads.

Best Tribute.A Southern Cross Love Song” by Lisa-Jo Baker at A Deeper Story.

Best Special Needs Post.The Reality of Special Needs and How You Can Help” by Nish Weiseth.

Best Parenting Post.A Spanking Manifesto” by Natalie Trust.

Best List.What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew” by Tara Hedman.

A good place to end. Keeping up with that list will make a good resolution for 2014.