I wondered, does anybody else play the game This Time ____ (Insert: last week, next week, yesterday, tomorrow, or any countdown of days)?
I usually play it when an exciting event is on the horizon or has just occurred. For example, I said to my husband, “This time three days ago we were eating monkfish in Barcelona.” Two days later: “This time last week, we were riding the cable car to Montserrat.” And so on. For the entire post-week of our Spain travels, I made these kinds of daily comments. It’s my game, you see. I’ve been playing it ever since I was a child: “Mommy, this time in two days it’ll be Christmas!” “This time tomorrow, I won’t be nine, I’ll be ten!” “This time next month, we’ll be living in Maryland/Kansas/Virginia.”
For me, it amps up an approaching expectation and/or relives a thrilling past one. But it drives my husband batty. And I can somewhat understand. He’s a believer in carpe diem. Today, right now, that’s what matters most. He doesn’t understand my fascination with referencing the present by this time yesterday and this time tomorrow.
To be fair, I don’t quite understand it either. I once tried to rationalize it to my science-minded partner, but as we all know good and well, sometimes logic simply doesn’t fit reality. There are way too many things that defy it. So after fumbling around trying to explain why I play This Time, I gave up and said: “Because I do.” After being together for over a decade, my husband knew that was as good a reason as he was going to get.
But deep down, I was still trying to hash out an answer for myself, and I think I finally found one. It’s my storyteller’s brain. For me, “This time” is my “Once upon a time.” And so, when I say, “This time yesterday…” I’m telling yesterday’s story, capturing it before it’s forgotten. And when I say, “This time next week…” I’m casting a narrative line into the future, imagining what great tales are nearing my hook. I like perceiving days and weeks in this playful way. It makes them brighter and full of stories.
So today I stopped and said aloud, “This time in one week, I’ll be at my book release party. Wow.” Then my toes went numb and my stomach flip-flopped. This time in three days, The Time It Snowed In Puerto Rico will be in all your hands. Now that makes me smile. Big. 🙂
Yours truly, Sarah