Updated: Aug 27, 2021
“And time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me.” -The Rolling Stones
Charlie Watts was 80 when he died this past week. EIGHTY. This bad ass drummer who I listened to with my dad on his record player for as long as I can remember got old. He spent nearly 60 years as a legendary member of that legendary band, one of the greatest drummers of all time. I wonder if he felt young again when he played ‘Beast of Burden?’ Like time just stood still for him?
But time moves and there’s nothing we can do about it. It really won’t wait for you, no matter what is going on in your life or in the world. All of a sudden you turn around and 2 years have gone by.
There’s no wonder why we yearn for places and things that bring up that uncomfortable yet welcomed feeling of nostalgia… to feel young again… to feel like we did during a time in our lives that we didn’t even know we’d yearn for. For me, the beach is a nostalgic place. It’s a place where time does stand still.
It brings me back to when I was a kid. We spent most summer days as a family, eating sandy PBnJ’s while inhaling Coppertone sunscreen, riding the waves, walking the beach to find shells, and watching my sister get buried in the sand (not me as I hate sand). My mom would call us in with this “woo-ooo” she used to use, which basically had the same effect as a dog whistle; we heard it from anywhere and would be in front of her chair in a flash.
Then the time passed a bit more, and I started spending less time with my family and more time with my friends. We’d get dropped off by our parents with $20 and a towel. We’d lie out listening to music with no sunscreen on, eat fried crap and ice cream from the little shack, and browse the weird beach store that sold incense and shell necklaces. A few more years passed by and a new group of friends emerged. We would sit all day chatting about who knows what, still eating crap and listening to music, while creating friendships that would last into our adult life with a few of them still going strong. That group of friends will always be imprinted in my heart. If I ever had stopped to think about how much I’d miss those days when they were over, it may have been too much to handle. My heart still aches for those days of freedom… and fun, so so much fun.
And now, the beach is a place I go with my family, many times with my mom and dad, always with my husband and kids. As the kids grow, our beach days change. We went from strollers and carriers filled with babies, then wagons filled with toddlers, to everyone walking without complaining. We still have a ton of shi* though, that’s one thing that hasn’t changed… Bags and coolers and boogie boards and chairs and beach games…. I know some day soon my heart will yearn for when my family was a unit and we did everything together. It’s coming too quickly.
This past week I’ve spent hours at the beach. Standing in the water with my dad, we were talking about how diving into the ocean can bring you back decades. That feeling of your face hitting the salt water as you go under a wave hearing nothing but the rushing water and your own breath. The sounds at the beach are always the same, they don’t change even as 42 years have come and gone. Because you know, time passes.
As another summer comes to a close, and my heart aches a bit knowing that next summer we’ll all be a year older … it becomes clear that doing my best to find happiness in the present moment is freaking important. Times goes by, yes. People leave and pass on, yes. Things change, yes. But that's life, time does not stand still. All we really can do is control what we do in the now.
No matter what the present looks like, we’ll never get this time back. Do what you can to enjoy what you can…. here and now.