Family Matters


More More Time: Discovering the Endless Present


Gianna—18 months old, with a broad smile, tangled strawberry hair, dancing blue eyes—begs me to play her favorite game as she flops onto her parents’ kitchen floor. I happily agree, taking hold of her noodly arms and beginning to swish her back and forth as she howls with laughter. After several minutes, though, my face is beet red, and my back is aching. I slow down, hoping she won’t notice, but she urges me on. I speed up again, now panting hard and finally suggesting that we’re getting close to the end of our game. “One more time,” I say in a breathless, though pleasant voice. Gianna hears something different: “More more time!” she cries, thinking I’m committing to an endless round of pull-my-granddaughter-around-the-kitchen-floor-by-her-arms. No matter how many times I say “one more time,” Gianna hears “more more time,” eventually believing that’s the name of the game.

That was in 2010, when I was still in my first year of retirement, trying to figure out what I was going to do with “more more time,” now that the clock didn’t completely rule my life. That year teemed with questions. What would I make of my life now? How would I traverse the road ahead? Would this be a time of creative reassessment and new ventures, a period of ripening more than aging, a yeasty time of promise? Or would it be life’s Big Step Aside—where I end up forever on the platform watching the train whiz by, its cars full of eager, driven, productive people who are still utilizing their…

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