Bilbo eventually, quite accidentally, but certainly fortunately, answers "Time".
As Gollum's riddle implies, time flies. As a parent, the truth of this idiom becomes more and more evident every time I look at my 3 year old who just "yesterday" was watching the Colorado Avalanche with me in the hospital room where his mother was recovering from his birth, and every time I look at my 3 month old who just "yesterday" was watching the Denver Pioneers Hockey Team with me in the hospital room where his mother was recovering from his birth.
Its truth also hits me when I realize that my 10th wedding anniversary is coming up this year (in September) or when I realize that I am closer to 40 in age than I am to 20.
I lead a semi-charmed kind of life (thank-you Third Eye Blind for that descriptive phrase) and every day, my life gets better and better. I'm happier with a 3-year old child and 3 month old child than I was at 15, 22, or even 33. I'll be happier tomorrow than I am today. So, time flying away doesn't bother me that much.
So far, I have not reached the birthday that depresses me with the realization that I'm old. I know for some people, it comes at 30 or at 35 (I've passed both these) or 40 or 50 or 60 (I have not reached these yet). I don't think my age ever will depress me. As I said, my life keeps getting better and better and as far as I can tell it always will. I can not look into the future, so someday, my age may hit me hard, but as I said, I don't think so.
But this summer has flown by.... and I don't know how that happened. It is now almost August, and I have more summer weekend things to do than I have weekends. Here are the things I want to accomplish yet this summer:
- Take the family to the Zoo-- we are going to do this August 6th
- Go camping with the family one more time -- we are planning to do this August 19-21. It will be Connor's 2nd camping trip ever (not bad for a kid who will be only 4 months old).
- Go camping with Tyler -- This would be our 2nd "Just me and my Dad" trip. You can see how trip #1 went here: http://esheppy.home.comcast.net/adventures/meanddad.htm. I was sort of hoping to expose him to Backpacking.
- Climb Mt. Bierstadt and Mt. Evans -- I am doing this July 30 ... as I write this, it will be this coming weekend. A web page will be here: http://esheppy.home.comcast.net/adventures/evans2005.htm
- Climb Long's Peak-- I've never made it all the way up. See http://esheppy.home.comcast.net/adventures/longspeak.htm and http://esheppy.home.comcast.net/adventures/longs2005.htm
- Go on my annual "Sheppy Quest" -- Solo Backpacking trip. See http://esheppy.home.comcast.net/adventures/sheppyquest.htm
- Head up to Breckenridge for the annual "Duck Races" -- it has become a tradition for us to do this every year over Labor-Day weekend http://www.summitfoundation.org/eventView.php?t=event&s=4
As I write this, I have 2 August weekends unplanned, and I have 3 unscheduled activities in the list above that I have to do before the summer is over. I guess it is not an absolute necessity that Tyler and I do another "Me and my dad" camping trip this year ... we have already done one this year and we are going camping with Mommy and Connor, which is almost as good. Both my previous "Sheppy Quests" have been in September, so that can get moved to September. So, I am not yet at a panic stage for my summer leisure goals. But, I really have no time to waste.
Where did the time fly away to?