When Pause is Needed

by Lisa Douglas

Back when I was a kid, if we liked an evening show, we’d have to be done with chores, eating, homework, baths/showers to sit down to be able to watch, or we’d miss it. You would hear “Shh, the program is on!” being called from parents to rowdy children in the next room, because you couldn’t rewind live TV. Remember?

Then came VCRs. Do you remember our those badboys? Being able to watch something, and how magical the “pause” and “stop” buttons were? To have the ability to record or “tape” something for playback later? Oh my stars. Life-changing.

Nowadays, we live for our recordings. Recorded shows on DVRs allow us to keep caught up, allowing us to pause, rewind, re-watch that funny scene where Barney high-fives someone for that something hilarious he said on How I Met Your Mother. Recording life’s moments with video-cameras, phones, etc., to play back little Johnny’s first steps or first words.

But why the hell hasn’t someone been able to invent a pause on life? On moments? In this day and age of evolving technology by the millisecond, with phones going out of style almost as fast as they are invented, with cars that depreciate the moment they are driven off the lot, why do we not have a remote control for life yet?

Take this moment, for instance.


I want to be able to stop time, to rotate around the scene, like you see actors do in movies; get all Matrix-y and bendy to twist around and see his arm just-so and her butt stuck up and to memorialize this from every angle.

I try my best with my camera, when I can remember to grab it, unless I miss the moment completely. I often stomp my feet and wish we had recording devices strategically located around the house, so I could catch as many of these as I can. But I don’t. And I can’t.


Then there are the moments when something goes wrong, something happened, was missed, or forgotten or you.just.want.to.go.back. and you can’t. Maybe if we could go back we can change the wrong before it’s wrong. Where’s the pause button for a redo? When your child is in pain and you want to go back and undo the hurt so they can’t grit their teeth and whimper with clenched fists in pain anymore.


I struggle for a pause. I ache for it. Because life is fast, and sometimes out of control, and the minutes and days fly by before I blink and then WHAM, the little baby who cooed at you and crapped out of her newborn diaper just stood up and bit you in the leg with the two teeth she sprouted over night.



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