I arrived at Massage Envy a little early and sank into a chair in the overly-dimmed waiting area. Why do they even bother putting magazines in that room? Unless they are doling out miner's caps, I've got no chance of being able to read in that lighting. For once, I decided to leave my phone in the car, so I had nothing to do really but start to push my mind down the path of relaxation, which is not my forte. I usually spend 90% of the massage time panicking that it is already almost over.
In an effort to ward off ruining the massage before it even started, I stared unblinkingly at the fountain on the wall, one of those slabs of rough rock with water running in a constant loop. I let my vision go blurry, listened to its trickling sound and tried to imagine it as an actual river. My mind drifted lazily back to my late twenties (also known as the pre-turning-30-meltdown years). It was a time when I inexplicably (and briefly) became obsessed with white water rafting, despite a life-long fear of water.
Now, I'm not into bucket lists. However, during those few years when I mistakenly believed I could transform myself from the definitive indoor girl to an outdoorsy one, I determined that one day --ONE DAY, by God--I was going to raft down the Colorado River, right through the Grand Canyon. Shortly after making this proclamation, however, I started having children. From the first yowl of my firstborn, every decision I made suddenly became about not dying.
Goodbye, rafting. Not sure what I ever saw in you, but you aren't good for me. You are going to leave my children orphans.
And that was that. I never rafted again, nor wanted to, and frankly, wondered that I ever did it in the first place.
But as I tried to mentally transport myself riverside in that waiting room on my birthday, I thought, "I should totally get into rafting again." My husband would love it. In fact, the whole family should go. Yes, in five years, we will do this. We will raft down the Colorado River, right through the Grand Canyon! In five years, Anthony and I will both be turning 50 and Bronte, our oldest will be turning 18, and what better way to celebrate those major milestones than with such a totally epic family trip!
I would start planning immediately. After all, I've heard you have to book these trips years in advance and I don't have much time.
Five years. That's it.
My mouth went dry.
Five years. That's it.
It wasn't that I would be turning 50. Like I said, I had my age-related meltdown at 30 (and a less dramatic one at 40). I'm good with 50.
In five years, Bronte, our oldest will be turning 18.
A knot cinched in my gut.
Until we are done homeschooling her. Until she leaves for college.
That's all I have left until she's grown up
It's already almost over.
Five years from now seems far off when I think of turning 50, but then again, five years ago, my daughter was only 8. Five years ago seems like only a moment or two.
Oh my God. Seriously, God. Five years from now is far away, but so close. Please slow things down. Help me be a better mom. It's going by too quickly. I'm not ready.
I silently prayed this during my massage, while I muffled my crying into the towel lining of that stupid doughnut hole headrest. I tried to be stealth about damming up the river of snot that was running out of my face. I worked hard at keeping my voice even when answering the therapist's intermittent whisper, "How's the pressure?" If you only knew, lady.
I didn't want me time. I wanted to go home and snuggle my 13 year old.
I couldn't wait for that massage to end. I was panicking that it wasn't already almost over.
|Dear Time. I hate you.|