Sunday, March 22, 2009

Live in the Moments that Matter

Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. Happiness is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moments.”

~ J. Donald Walters

The older I get, the more I am aware that time behaves like Jell-o in a sauna; days, weeks, months, and years pass as flashes of time, and I often find myself struggling to keep up with the moments.

High school gave way to college, which gave way to marriage, and parenthood, but I would swear that I could go to bed tonight and wake up on graduation day, learning that the past fifteen years have been nothing more than a fleeting dream.

I lament that my days rarely seem to last forever as they once did; I used to look forward to what I would accomplish in my future: “When I grow up, I’m gonna…”

Now I look down the path I’m on and feel like I’m traveling downhill on a bicycle without breaks; whizzing by me are memories that will be made and filed away long before I realize they are even happening yet.

How, in such a fast world do we slow down, or better yet, stop long enough to not only “smell the roses” but to tend the soil, plant the seeds, nurture the plants, and enjoy the blooming of the flowers?

I don’t have a definitive answer for that question, I do, however, know this: The best way to sabotage yourself from living in the moment is to often utter then phrase, “I don’t have time for that right now.”

“Mommy, watch!” Grover is playing with toys in the living room.

“Just a sec, Grove.” I say, not looking up from my work.

“Mommy, watch me!”

“Mommy’s working; I don’t have time for that right now!”

Several minutes pass before I remember that Grover had been trying to get me to watch him; I get up from my desk and find him in his room.

“What did you want to show me, Grove?” I said.

“You missed it, Mommy, I was amazing, and you missed it!” He says, clearly annoyed with me.

I have no idea what it was that I missed, I turn to go back to my work, frustrated, not that I had missed something ‘amazing’, but that I quit working for nothing, and then I stop, realizing that if I go back to my computer right now, I am probably going to miss the next ‘amazing’ thing, and I know that I didn’t want to.

“Grover? You wanna play something?” I say.

“Go Fish!” He shouts, and runs to get the deck of cards, instantly forgetting that he’s mad at me.

I am lucky, a few years from now (years that will past as mere moments) a silly card game will not be reason enough to forgive such a parental transgression.

Working hard to make a living is fine, but what is the point if I am working so hard to make a living, that I actually forget to live!

Excuse me please, I have a game of “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” waiting for me in the living room, I don’t have time for this right now…

It is only possible to live happily-ever-after on a day-to-day basis.

~Margaret Bonnano

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