I’ve always loved the musical RENT. I saw the show on Broadway on a high school trip to New York. I remember feeling slightly scandalous because my mormon and catholic friends chose to see Phantom of the Opera instead. I sat in the dark theatre and trembled in my seat as social justice soared through air. These anthems taught me about Alphabet City, rent control, AIDS, and drag queens. The lessons stirred my heart and steered me towards sociology, social work, and the importance of advocacy.
Later that year our choir practiced Seasons of Love for months. At graduation, I proudly belted out the song wearing my bright blue robe, tassels brushing my face as my head bobbed along proudly to the now familiar tune.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
Dylan celebrated another birthday this past weekend – another five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes of his life passed. And mine too, walking along side him.
Minutes filled with tears. Minutes blowing my nose. Minutes coughing up crud.
Minutes filled laughing.
Minutes of This is Us, and Chopped, and Gilmore Girls.
Minutes drinking beer. Minutes trying to figure out how to use a wine bottle opener.
Minutes giving up.
Minutes brushing my teeth.
Minutes whispering help.
Minutes of pitting cherries, chopping onions, planting tomatoes.
Minutes on Facetime and Instagram and Facebook.
Minutes staring at a computer, fingers typing, thoughts swirling.
Minutes at work.
Minutes frustrated that the trash isn’t taken out, and the dog peed on the carpet (holy hell, yes, again) and that your career isn’t unfolding as quickly as you thought it would.
Minutes on your knees, praying, making gratitude lists, blessing food and family and appreciating a peach.
Minutes trying something new.
How about when its 4:58 pm and you look at the clock at 4:58:01 and 4:58:15 and 4:58:42 and 4:59:01. Those slow, desperate minutes – those matter too.
Time goes so quickly.
And yet, try holding your breath for a full minute.
Stopping for that long is hard!
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my minutes – all the ones we have left – and what I want to do with them. How I want to use my time to serve others and dream bigger and dip my toes into uncharted territory.
Because when you lose someone at an early age, you’re always wondering how many minutes will I have left? And what about all the minutes of people I love?
I turn 30 in 4 months. That’s 175, 200 minutes.
I’ll be filling time with:
Minutes reading books.
Minutes worrying about my husband, my mom, my brother, my grandma. They’ll sit and say like Anne Lamott – “quit getting your help all over me”
Minutes on airplanes.
Minutes at work.
Minutes frustrated at the dog, at the dishes, at cooking dinner yet again.
Minutes swapping kisses.
Minutes learning to drive stick shift.
Minutes chasing dreams.
Minutes singing karaoke.
Minutes baking bread.
Minutes with tears, I’m sure, and minutes looking for beautiful things.
This past May I was invited back to high school graduation to sing with my choir because my teacher was retiring. She’d spent over twenty five years teaching kids to sing their hearts out at graduation. While waiting in the hallway in the basement of the stadium the band director organizing the event waved his hands to get us to quiet down.
“After they sing Seasons of Love it will be your turn to file out. And yes, we still sing that god-awful song.”
I chuckled to myself, because you see, some beautiful minutes last forever.