A Gentle Reminder about Time
This time last year I was shoveling down milk softened cereal as I made last minute edits to my first book, “Bedtime Stories for the Living.” Something about a sweet, cool bowl of cereal soothed my nervous soul.
Time passed. Four seasons came and went. The book was published.
It’s now late November 2022 and I’m currently in my kitchen, eating fistfuls of dry, out-of-the-box Cap n’ Crunch. Though I still like cereal, my desire for milk has petered. So with sticky hands, I stare out the window and think about how quickly a year has passed. And how the forthcoming years will unfold with the same breakneck speed.
Another fistful of Cap n’ Crunch and I think about how, this time last year, I was convinced that if I just finished the book I would be satisfied. I could put down my metaphorical pen and be happy. Maybe I would be so happy and so satisfied I would never have to write another word again.
But a year later, as I’m writing this letter to you, I realize that my bones rattle with restless satisfaction.
I’m satisfied with my writing accomplishments and how my writing has gifted opportunities to share my writing with more people, but between us–I want more. I crave more. I want to get lost again.
In my younger, more vulnerable days I was afraid to fail. But I’ve–rather proudly–failed. And now, at 42-years-old, as my incurable brain disease progresses, it’s no longer the fear of failure that worries me (been there, done that), it’s the fear of not having enough time that–rather cruelly–gnaws at my suburban soul.
Some mornings, as my wife and kids jockey for position around the toaster and twirl about the kitchen packing lunches for work and school, I long to stop time. As if watching a movie, press pause and freeze the scene. Make the now forever and infinitely beam at the people I love.
But life, of course, doesn’t come with a remote control and the toast pops and the lunch bags fatten and the house falls silent.
As another year passes, it occurs to me that time isn’t stopping. That time is firmly dedicated to moving forward. And how a year from now I might be in the kitchen, eating maybe some sort of healthy dry cereal, reflecting on the past year. Shaking my head, again, at it’s relentless pace. Wondering, again, where it all went. Longing, again, to stop time.
If such is the case, I hope this letter serves as a gentle reminder that we are responsible for losing our own time. That time cowers at our restless satisfaction. And that time is lost when you do what you love and share what you love with the people you love.
Do you like t-shirts?
I love a good t-shirt. Especially a t-shirt that is both super-soft and super-comforting. Like receiving a hug from an elderly teddy bear. Anyway, the new Write On Fight On shirt was inspired by one of my favorite novels, “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy and a deeply personal need to remind myself not to give up. Especially when life becomes a bastard and there are not any elderly teddy bears around.
These t-shirts are on sale for a limited time only!Men’s, women’s, and children’s sizes are available. Also, they make great holiday gifts for friends, family, and elderly teddy bears.
Sale ends December 5, 2022!
December Book Promos:
Are looking for inspiration? Are you searching for a better version of yourself?
This month I joined literary forces for some best-selling authors to promote our books in, Become Inspired. Become You.
Memoirs, Biographies, Self-help books…oh my!
This month I joined literary forces with some best-selling authors to promote our books in the inspiring December Nonfiction Collection.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…
A few months ago, with low expectations, I took a shot and entered “Bedtime Stories for the Living” in the highly regarded, highly competitive international book contest presented by Readers’ Favorite. Readers’ Favorite is an established force in the publishing industry. They have worked withPenguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors.
Anyway, just before I was about to take a midday nap, I was informed that this suburban dad had won…
First Prize, the Gold Medal, in the Non-Fiction/Parenting genre!
Quote of the Week:
If you would like to share something with others (a photo, a poem, a song, a quote, etc.) that tosses some positive vibes into the world, please send your suggestions to me at email@example.com. Thanks!
Are you a reader? Looking for your next good book to read or listen to? Check out my new page “Jay’s Book Shelf” for some book recommendations.
Here’s what I’m currently reading: The Road by Cormac McCarthy
I taught this book for years to my 12th grade students (hence the tattered, Post-it filled copy). Most of the students hated it. It’s not a beach read or one you could casual skim like Tik-Tok videos. I mean, at 18 years-old, I’d probably hate it too. This is an “old” person’s book. I think the longer you live, the more joy and heartbreak you experience, the greater appreciation you will have for this Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Also, if you haven’t heard, McCarthy’s novel “The Passenger” was recently published. It’s his first novel in 16 years.
If you like this post, you may also like:
The Big Reveal
How to Climb Today’s Mountain
Your Voice is the Most Powerful Thing You Own
A Letter to My Son (mostly about) Baseball
Jay Armstrong is a writer, speaker, former high school English teacher, and an award-winning author. Despite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. The leader of the Philadelphia Ataxia Support Group, he hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life. For Jay, a good day consists of 5 things:
4. Hearing his three children laugh
5. Hugging his wife
(Bonus points for a dinner with his parents or a drink with his friends)
Jay hasn’t had a bad day in quite a long time.
You can also visit Jay at jayarmstrongwrites.com
2 comments found
EXCELLENT post – such a great thing to think about! I am trying to impress this upon my husband who has genetic cerebellar ataxia, is 62 and still working full time even though it is increasingly challenging for him (but he LOVES what he does!)
Jay, congratulations! I loved reading this as I am reflecting on the year with my kids, my family, and my years working with very gifted and talented minds (yes, you!). I wish you and yours well.