I got to spend time with my kids today. It was my youngest son’s birthday over the weekend (he’s 14 now). We went to see the new Jurassic World movie. We had planned to see it for a really long time…since we first saw the trailer for it last year so we were excited to see it. We also bought some sushi for lunch which is a favourite of ours. I also wrapped up some homemade cookies I made for them to take with them when they left. I was also going to take them go karting but the weather didn’t cooperate today. It was only a few hours but I was thankful that I at least got to spend time with both of them. I never really know the next time I’ll get to see them so any time I have with them is precious. The times that we are together, they are themselves again. Their sarcastic, quick whit sense of humour is something that I miss even more now that they’re gone. I have a very sarcastic sense of humour as well so I miss being able to banter back and forth like we usually do. Sarcasm and a sense of humour is definitely a love language for me. My youngest even cuddled into me during the movie…and he’s 14 years old. We’re a big movie watching type of crew and we would always cuddle on the couch for movie nights so the fact that my teenage son still snuggled up to me during a movie meant the world to me.
Every time I see them now they seem to get bigger and older. My oldest son, who is 15 is almost at eye level with me. My youngest son isn’t that far behind either. Which, if I’m completely honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that quite yet. How did that happen?? I find myself asking that a lot lately. I’ve been a parent for 15 years! Where did all the time go? I remember moments throughout their younger years thinking those days felt like they went on forever. And now, literally in a few short years, they’ll be off to college. What in the actual…what?! There were so many times as a parent that I found myself wishing for the next step. If you’re a parent you know what I mean. “I can’t wait till they start crawling…I can’t wait till they start walking…I can’t wait till they start talking…I can’t wait till they start sleeping through the night.” And on and on it goes until one day, not only are they walking and talking and sleeping through the night but now they’re in high school and almost all grown up! We got our wish all right…we wished it all away rather than being present in the moment.
It got me thinking, why does it seem like we are always wishing or waiting for something?
There’s a verse in the Bible that says,“How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog, it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.”~James 4:14
In other words, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Life is such a short and fragile thing. It’s here one day and gone the next. So why are we wishing for something other than the moments that we have right now? Why are we always waiting for what’s next rather than appreciating what we have now? Why are we waiting on something that we could already be doing? Why does it seem like there is always something else?
I’m a planner. I like to know things. Particularly well in advance. I don’t like waiting. I don’t like not knowing and I would prefer it if things went according to plan. (Preferably ‘my’ plan.) I mean, I could totally be spontaneous…if I knew what was going on ahead of time. (See what I did there?) I think a whole lot of years of responsibility at a really young age kind of made me into a planner. I had my first son 2 days before my 21st birthday. Talk about a birthday present! “Happy Birthday! Here’s a kid…good luck!” While most people spend their 20’s going off to college, meeting new people, partying it up with friends, travelling the world, following their dreams…I was hanging out with 2 babies. Diapers, bottles, no sleep, potty training, picking up toys, etc. Do I like to party or what? So you see, I would love to be able to be spontaneous and throw caution to the wind but I think 15 years of parenting tends to suck the spontaneous right outta ya. It’s a hard habit to break.
I’m now 36 years young. My children are almost grown and I have a lot more free time to myself. And for the first time in my life, I’m finally able to ask myself, “What do I want?” I’m just starting to entertain the idea of taking chances and learning to be in the moment. It isn’t easy. Kinda super scary…especially for a planner gal like myself. I don’t even know what that would look like. In relationships, travelling, pursuing the things I’m passionate about. To be able to not over think everything and just let go and see what happens. I haven’t even been on a date in 3 years. I haven’t really had positive experiences with it so I just don’t even bother anymore. But what would it be like to be in an actual grown up relationship with someone for the first time in my life? Someone that just gets me. Enjoying life…together. Partners in every sense of the word. I know it exists but the idea of it is such a foreign concept to me that I honestly don’t even know how I would handle it or even recognize it if it even showed up. I don’t think I even remember how to date?
And then there’s travelling. Did you know I haven’t even left the North American continent?! It’s true. The closest I ever get to visiting other places around the world is watching documentaries and National Geographic. (I know lots of things about lots of places I’ve never been to.) Which is why I love meeting people who have actually been to other places so I can annoy them with all of my questions. There’s so many wonderful places to see and things to experience that it would be a shame to me if I didn’t get a chance to experience that one day. If I was the spontaneous type (and if I had the money) I would just up and go. But fortunately for me, travelling does take some planning and working and waiting. And so I wait…rather impatiently I might add.
As for pursuing what I love…writing? This website was a huge step for me. And it’s a big step in the right direction, I believe. I don’t know where it will lead but I know that while I’m wishing and waiting for more, my job is to be faithful with what I do have, right here. Right now. The rest is up to God.
Life goes by faster than we think. Before we know it, we’re looking back wishing that either time slowed down or wishing for a “do over” because we were careless with the time we were already given. How often do we think to ourselves, “Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda.” I have a lot of those moments. So much so that it’s made me perhaps a bit overly cautious. But only because I finally understand how important time is. And that once it’s gone you can’t ever get it back. The same with opportunity. Once an opportunity presents itself, you might not ever get the same moment again.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you love someone…show them.
If you like someone…tell them.
If you miss someone…pick up the phone.
If you want to get to know someone…spend time with them.
If you want to go somewhere…make a plan and go.
If you want to do what you love…start with what you have and see what happens. But start!
Say yes to an opportunity that would normally scare you or make you really nervous…whether that’s going on a date for the first time in a really long time, a new career path, stepping out in faith on something you’re passionate about or just learning how to be in the moment and enjoying it for what it is rather than thinking about what’s next.
Enjoy those moments that come along. You might never get it back again. Enjoy the season of life you’re in. Find the good in it and take advantage of the good stuff. It’s there if you look hard enough. Don’t wish this life away. Always looking for what’s next. Instead, look for ways that you can enjoy the here and now. Because it’ll be here and gone before you know it. And then all you’ll have are the memories. Make them really good ones.
What are you waiting for?