A few years ago, when I was dealing with the endless demands of three children who were all much younger and needier, I was given a piece of advice that I am eternally grateful for. On a day that had begun at six am, in which I hadn’t had the time to sit down for a proper meal, and which had involved being seemingly surgically attached to at least one of my children for the whole day, a family friend who was staying with us at the time, said to me
‘ Just remember, when you can, and in amongst all this chaos to stop and notice what a wonderful time you are having. Because I don’t think I ever did. Looking back, the time when I had young children was the happiest of my whole life, and yet I didn’t know it until it was over.’
All too often, and especially when we are doing something that relies on our every resource, we haven’t to the time- or more importantly don’t take the time- to stop and disentangle the joys from the hardships. We – often in a sleep deprived haze and convinced we haven’t enough hours in the day nor energy to use them well- see only the work, the tantrums and the ways in which we might be doing something a little better. All too often, and without realizing it, we live as though it is some sort of marathon, and we are striving to get to a particular point or past a particular threshold. We often put things off, in the mistaken belief that one day we will be ready, or everything will be in place. And yet, as John Lennon is so often quoted as saying ‘Life is what happens when we are busy making other plans’.
I confess that I don’t remember to think like this all the time. Far from it. Like most other people- I get caught up in my daily existence, forget to see the wood for the trees, and am so often deep in random thought that I barely notice who is in front of me let alone take time to appreciate them.
And yet every now and then, those very wise words ring in my ears and I do stop- even if its just for a moment- and take the time to breathe it all in.
And god I am grateful that I have done, because the truth is from this
has felt like the blink of an eye.
If you have a spare minute and fifty eight seconds, I really recommend you watch this video which says it all, much better than I possibly could.