Measuring Time

blood moon

I remember turning 23 and being told I was old relative to my 20-year-old friends…and actually feeling old.  Throughout my 20’s I’ve been ultra aware of my age, comparing it with my accomplishments and worrying if they balance out.  With 29 around the corner, I’ve been able to view my age in a spectrum of progression while considering the different ways our mortality beckons us to measure time.

The other day, I was listening to a radiolab podcast called The Heartbeat.  A woman named Summer Ash has heart surgery and as a result, her heartbeat becomes audible to the naked ear.  In this episode they mention that the average person now has 2.5 billion heart beats in a lifetime.  Hearing this, I couldn’t help but think about my life as a compilation of heart beats.  I connected it simultaneously with something scientific and spiritual.  When were the times I took those minuscule moments and made them count?  When were the times my heart was beating and I was truly living?

As I mused on the different ways of measuring time, the super blood moon  eclipse was approaching dusk. I could barely imagine the person I’d be the next time this astrological rarity would come again, so many moons from now…

While taking pictures, sipping bubbly (because super blood moon), and exploring the brightly lit night with friends, we talked about the moon and the magic of the twinkling canopy above us.

“Have you heard of Saturn’s return?”  A friend asked.

I had never heard of the term before.  I learned that Saturn returns to the same position it was at your birth around your 27th year and stays there for 2-3 years.  At this stage in your life, you enter into a transformational, sometimes trying period where Saturn’s influence encourages you to question and embrace your path.  A person living a full life would potentially have 3 Saturn’s returns in their lifetime.

Of course, never hearing of this term and realizing I am and have been experiencing my first Saturn’s return, I had to learn more.

If you know what sign Saturn was in when you were born, you can find out when it will be there again and for how long.  For me, Saturn is in Sagittarius, acquirer of knowledge and a taste for movement.

Saturn moved into Sagittarius Dec 23rd, 2014.  Funny thing, I remember that day distinctly and actually can say that something in me shifted, like a greater realization of self. I was coming back from my first redwoods trip and that entire day was a wild experience, which deserves it’s own post (sorry!).

The main themes that Sagittarius plays in Saturn is travel and seeking knowledge.   I felt as though I have at least been asking myself the right questions, as I’ve been grappling with the decision to continue traveling or finally put roots down and build a stable life, while working on my writing.

I can’t help thinking about the last lines in Trainspotting where the main character comments on his version of ‘choosing life,'” …Choose a job, choose a career,  choose a family, choose a fucking big television…” It’s a satirical comment on normalcy (which the main character needs based on his past decisions) and society,  but furthermore an acknowledgment that life is a choice, or a series of choices.

While reflecting on my own choices,  I thought about what’s important to me.  I want to measure my life in great leaps of courage:  Go to the places I’ve merely dreamed of; meet people and have experiences that inspire and remind me to be grateful; and perhaps struggle through it all if it means I’m being true to myself.

While measuring time relative to the life I’ve lived, I’ve realized it isn’t about being too young or too old for this or that. It’s not about comparing my life to a life that is expected of me. It’s about being true to yourself and making choices based upon that now.  And with that, time seems a little less urgent and lot more meaningful, because it’s always now…