Earlier this year I watched a few minutes of The Aviator, the biopic about Howard Hughes. Hughes is furious after watching the footage from Hell’s Angels which should showcase some of the best flight sequences ever captured on film. He had famously brought in dozens and dozens of pilots and filmed for weeks on end in southern California, but the clear skies made the planes in the finished product appear slow. There was no contrast–no marker–to show how quickly they were flying. So Hughes packed up the production and went up to Oakland, California to film the same sequence in cloudy skies.
I’m thinking about this a lot because I now have clouds in my life.
No, not dark, stormy, clouds–anything but that. I have the marker clouds now.
On April 27th, my wife and I welcomed our daughter Sydney into the world and nothing has been the same since.
Parenthood is indeed the combination of exhaustion, happiness, doubt, humor, worry, joy, and love that everyone has said it would be. One of my good friends from college joked that he was happy to see that my Instagram changed from travel related posts and pictures of food to “Dadgram” where I post regular pictures of my baby girl. I have a million new stories and some will appear in speeches & some will appear here.
But for now, I’m thinking mainly about time, because my daughter outgrew her pajamas.
My early Instagram posts often featured one pair of 0-3 month pajamas that I absolutely loved. I don’t know why they were my favorite (I’m well aware that they do look a little jailbird like), but I loved them.
I recorded tons of videos.
I’d sit with her in my arms for hours late at night and look at the stripes.
I’d see her kick her little legs in them.
And now, they no longer fit. We’ve already put them away in storage in an area where we’ll save those handful of favorite outfits.
My daughter isn’t even 2.5 months old and she’s already outgrown her 3 months pajamas.
Don’t get me wrong–this is wonderful news. We feel so incredibly blessed that she’s happy and healthy. So much of the early days of parenting are hoping she’s eating enough and meeting the various thresholds. We feel lucky that she’s doing as well as she is.
But I don’t remember how this happened. Honestly. She was just a tiny infant, and now she doesn’t fit in pajamas that used to be baggy on her.
Each day now seems like an eternity, but each week goes by in a blink of an eye. There is a great podcast all about it called The Longest Shortest Time and it’s truly what I’m living.
I’ve stayed up for an entire night early on watching the clock tick wondering if she’d ever fall asleep. I’ve had her asleep in my arms and been desperate for a glass of water, but not wanting to move and wake her up even though I could feel how dry my mouth was, wondering if I could wait just 10 more minutes. I’ve watched the countdown on her bottle warmer tick away wishing that 45 seconds could speed up so I could give my hungry daughter her bottle.
And all of that ticks by so slowly, and yet so quickly.
And I think this is true for all of us during our days. We all have these slow tasks and slow moments and then one day we reflect on how it’s already over and how little we got done or that we wished we savored the time more. I remember feeling like that back in school every time yearbooks came out–how were we already done with another school year–and yet in September, I remember feeling that one class period would never end or that Winter Break was ages away.
But now, I think about time daily, because I have this constant marker of time in my life. The pajamas don’t fit. I see how much she has grown and developed in such a short period of time, and I know I’m just at the beginning. I realize that more than likely she’ll be crawling by Christmas and walking on her own on the beach this time next year, and I realize that time is ticking.
And I’m very much aware of it.
So expect to see some more blogs about time from me…
…how we can better think about it.
…how we can better utilize it.
….how we can better cherish it.
I may be sleep deprived, but I’ve never been so inspired. I hope you’ll join me for this little journey.
Patrick Maurer, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), is a Keynote Speaker for conventions, conferences, and assemblies, and Facilitator of incredible retreats and teambuilding session. His perfected approach of fusing compelling topics with real-life account, insights, humor, and pop culture savviness have entertained and enriched audiences throughout North America for over a decade. www.pmaurer.com