Hope in the Midst of Life ~ October 2017
“You’re Gonna Miss This”
It is so easy to get caught up in the details of the day. The hustle and bustle of “getting there” and “doing this” and “getting that done” sure makes life challenging. So when “I need this,” or “Please, can you help me?” … get thrown in, “challenging” starts to be “this might be crazy”. Those of us who help others who can’t help themselves, also know things like “I HAVE to do this for ____”, “He can’t do it, so I need to” and “Who will do this if I don’t?” – come up in our heads with so much regularity we sometimes think we can’t do it all. Life gets so busy! Just remembering to buy toothpaste, and wash enough underwear for the week become significant accomplishments! Not just getting through the week, but getting through the day, becomes the goal. And then we wake up and start over.
An article appeared in my inbox today. It listed “7 songs that are so happy you will cry” or something like that. So I pulled them up, one at a time on You Tube. I cried. I cried in gratitude for the blessings. I also cried in the grief of missing the times of those particular blessings. And I cried because even though many days I tried to pause and stop time; you know, to look around and take a deep breath and breathe in the moment to burn it forever in my memory… the sights and sounds and smells… because I knew it was all going too fast. Well I am here to tell you – that even though I did that – it went too fast. The details in my day… mostly the things I saw as problems; you know, the deadlines and lists and needs – got in my way of just being thrilled in each moment… and even thankful for the challenges.
As I write this – I am aware that this sounds cliché. We all know time goes fast and yet so many times I have let the “busy” and the “necessary” keep me distracted from the faces in front of me. But lately I see something more… I see people giving their focus to screens instead of faces. I am not saying screens are bad. They are a great way to communicate. But screen time gets in the way of real – face time.
Not to recognize the challenges, and the things that need to be done, might mean that we are not responsible. Oh but to be free enough from those lists and needs, to breathe life in and laugh with joy … and choose the fun thing on a regular basis! The dishes will still be there and somehow the underwear will get washed… Oh the delight in that! And perhaps I am alive even if I don’t read about it on Facebook. I am reminded of statistics I read recently. It turns out that life is not about the big events – the grand vacation to distant lands, and the expensive dinner out. The people who are the happiest – are focused on the little moments of each day. They don’t miss the important little things because of lists; they LIVE in each moment. What is more – they aren’t just bodily present while focused on a screen. They are focused on the real eyes and hearts right in front of them.
I know this is easier said than done… But what would your life and your family be like, if you stopped the business? What if you put your phone down and turned the TV off and you danced in the kitchen with your spouse, or your child? (In whatever way that you dance when nobody else is watching.) What if you began to sing like nobody was listening… you know, from your heart? What if you stopped long enough to listen until those you love had shared all they keep inside because nobody has had the time to hear? What if your life wasn’t about posting on a screen… but celebrating and laughing with those beside you who need not only your physical presence but your attention so desperately?
What if you could live today, right now, in a way that caused you to not only breathe life in and burn the memory into your heart forever, but let you feel the warmth of your loved ones’ presence? AND what if you could PLAY? You know – actually have FUN! Remember the last time you laughed so hard your sides ached and you nearly wet your pants?
Yes, we have to be responsible, especially if we are helping those who can’t help themselves. But what if we could focus on them and not the lists, or screens?
You might take some time to pull some songs up. Listen, and put aside the lists for a while… and then put the screen down and LIVE… because believe it not – “You are going to miss this.” Make this day the memory you want it to be.
- “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins
- “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban
- “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw
- “Home” by Phillip Phillips
- “100 Years” by Five for Fighting
- “Blessed” by Martina McBride
- “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack
- … and so many others.
Janet Miller MA LPCC