More Before

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”  ~Oprah Winfrey

Well it’s been a lot longer since my last post than I had hoped.  Summer is flying by at an alarming rate, at least it is here.  It’s scary for me to imagine that next summer we will have teenagers in the house.  I am so not ready for all of the changes that are looming ahead.  Funny, that was not an intended segue to today’s post but…

We have entered the What Are We Doing Next? Stage.

My kids are very blessed, our family is pretty big and fortunately tight knit.  We don’t just celebrate the big days, we also have a lot of random days that turn into grand adventures with various family members.  My crew LOVES traditions, so far none have been too “corny” to not continue, they are creatures of habit.  However, the new trend I’ve noticed is what I like to call the “what are we doing next?” phase and it usually happens smack dab in the middle of something we are already doing.

It’s frustrating that at times it appears they are not grateful for what they are currently doing when in reality they are.  I think they just want to have the next date lined up so there’s no uncertainty that another adventure is waiting.  However, I feel like it’s my job to bring them back to the moment that they are in.  Stop worrying about what’s next and enjoy what is right now.

And then I realized that I am a hypocrite.  I guess I have always felt that there will be time for me to be better, that when this or that happens my situation will be better and that the ripple effect with morph me into the person I really want to be.  I will be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend, etc when the future looks a little brighter and my stress level looks a little lower.  And all of this looking ahead and behind has made me miss a lot of right now.

What I’ve failed to see is that all of the roles I listed above, I already am.  I have spent way too much time chasing the life that I want and feel my family deserves that I’ve sort of missed the moments I’ve been given.  Time is such an undervalued asset for many, myself included.  I wrote a post on Facebook awhile back about “before”.  I’m sure everyone has had something happen when you’d give anything to go back to the way things were “before”, whether it’s death, illness, poor decisions, the list is almost endless.  My point was how we should try to wrap our heads around the fact that today is a “before”.  Now that doesn’t mean tomorrow tragedy will strike but maybe it does.  Time is not guaranteed for anyone.  Today is “before”, full of opportunities like spending quality time with family, catching up with a friend, fixing a relationship that needs fixing, stepping up your game to make a difference in your community, basically it’s another endless list.

I am hard on myself, I hear it a lot.  I don’t think I’m wrong for wanting to be better but if life is grading me right now, it doesn’t care where I see myself in a year or two or ten.  It would base my grades off of today, this minute and unfortunately I’m not always in the moment.  I’ve had many experiences that I wish I had done my “before” so much better.  I hope that by writing this I will go out and live today with the full awareness I have been blessed with another “before” and I hope that many more lie ahead.

The older I get, the faster it seems time goes by.  It feels like yesterday I was nine months pregnant, holding the hands of two little boys as they waited with nervous excitement to get on the bus that would take them on a new journey, one I would not be a part of for seven hours a day.  Maybe it was hormones but I felt like that first step out of our house was when the hour hand started flying.  Well, except for that first day of kindergarten.  I was a mess all day, wandering aimlessly around the house, checking the clock every five minutes to see if it was time for them to come home.  Fast forward to now, the twins are going into 7th grade and my little one (she was born on their third day of kindergarten) is going into 2nd.  How??

Well, they aren’t in those grades yet.  I still get four more weeks of summer with them and no matter how fast it went, here we are.  Here is where we need to try to stay at all times.  It has taken too long for me to get here, I can’t keep looking back at what I could’ve changed because it’s done.  Stealing time from here and now to worry about what may happen tomorrow is time wasted.  All I can do is try to remain in my moment because I cannot control much else.

So my advice is to take five minutes and take an assessment of how you’re spending your time and who you spend it with.  Then ask yourself if you are happy with your status quo and if not, make the changes needed immediately.  You are paying your most prized possession for it, time.  Could it be better spent elsewhere??