Growing up in a blink

LAYOUT: This is the idea I had for the two photos.

The average person blinks 15 to 20 times per minute which amounts to between 20 000 and 30 000 blinks per day, depending on the length of your day, of course.

That’s a whole lot of blinks – apparently more than are actually needed to lubricate the eyeballs.

Multiply this number by 12 and you’ll get an average of how many times you blink per year.

It’s rather shocking when you realise this relatively insignificant detail has a somewhat deeper meaning.

How many times have you heard the phrase: ‘Gone in the blink of an eye’ ?

During the week, I was sitting at home minding my own business, when I found myself staring at my dog.

I was so lost in thought that I didn’t even realise he was staring back with a rapidly-wagging tail.

He was standing at the exact same spot where I had taken the very first photo of him on his very first day at our place after his adoption.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

The little bugger has grown to full size without my permission!

When first he stood there, he was a tiny little midget puppy and now he’s this long-legged, fully-grown, adult-looking dog.

The phrase ‘in the blink of an eye’, zapped through my head and I had an epiphany.

How much time do we lose, wrapped in our own little worlds and problems, while life zooms past?

What happens while our eyes are closed for 20 000 blinks a day?

Well, for one, my dog grows up too fast.

What other 19 999 things have we missed? A lost opportunity or chance to do something productive perhaps which will benefit you in the long run?

I don’t know because, obviously, I miss a lot too.

From that day, I noticed many things I never used to notice: People around me, who I care about, are getting older and have more lines on their faces. They’re not the same as the image I’ve held on to from when I was 10 years old.

Again, how much time have I missed?

We are so wrapped up in our ‘bubbles’ that we miss what’s going on around us.

People get older, children grow up and times keep changing.

Since the lightning bolt struck, I’ve made it my mission to cheer and clap every time ‘my boy’ does something good…

Like spit out the stone he was chewing when I tell him to.

His bewildered expression in response to the petting and to the cheering of such a simple task, is something to behold.

I think I may frighten him sometimes with the sudden screech of happiness and wild hand gestures when he lifts his leg to ‘water the grass’.

He only recently started doing it, so I’m allowed some motherly excitement in that department.

Sometime between my blindness to my surroundings and the epiphany, he learned to do what I like to call ‘couch-hopping’.

The couches aren’t necessarily close to each other, but my dog obviously heard along the grapevine that ‘the floor is lava’.

Those little feet of his barely ever touch the floor when he flies from one couch to the next which are some two metres apart!

Well, I missed this particular skill that he has picked up.

Point is, we miss the small things happening around us and only appreciate them when it’s too late.

Theoretically, I know we need to blink to keep the function and use of our eyes so it’s not like I’m going to stick toothpicks in my eyelids to keep them from closing, but I’ve grasped the importance of taking note of the little things… and not blinking so much.

Stare for five seconds, blink, stare, blink blink.

Joking. It’s not so much the blinking as it is the ‘obliviousness’ to our surroundings.

Izahn Krige

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