Elbows resting on the table’s smooth surface. Chin cupped in the palm of my left hand. I study the pages of my open planner, amazed at its lack of white space. Even in the midst of a pandemic, the days and weeks fill up quickly. A camping trip that’s been planned for months is upon us. Soon after, the restart of school and athletics. Then, before we know it, the holidays will come and go. All the while, we’re looking ahead. Past today. Past next week. Past the weeks to come.
Being the planner that I am, I sometimes find myself planning life rather than living it. Spending too much time wondering what to do next. Where to go. Who to see. When and how to make it all happen. Focusing so much on my future that I fail to notice the moments that make life special.
Friend, I wonder if you’re ever tempted to do the same.
These moments may look different for each of us, but they’re not hard to recognize. They’re the ones we find ourselves longing for when time and circumstances threaten to make them no more. Perhaps it’s happiness within our homes, dinner with that special someone, coffee with a friend, sweet kisses planted on our foreheads by our smallest loves. Moments known for slipping through our fingers before we’re conscious of their significance.
Friend, let’s capture these moments before they pass us by.
It won’t be easy. Distinguishing between the urgent and the important, the necessary and the obligatory, pleasure and business, must-do’s and want-to-do’s. Just thinking about it can overwhelm the most energetic of us. But once we decide what is truly important and set out to treat it with importance, we’re on our way to living a meaningful life.
Hugging our children longer. Saying “I love you” as we hang up the phone. Sending that “thinking of you” text to a dear friend who needs encouragement. Pausing to really listen. Laughing out loud with others when life is funny and crying unashamedly with those same people when life gets hard.
Shifting in my chair, I close my planner and smile as my family enters the back door. I hear them long before I catch sight of them. Their conversations, real and unrushed. Their demeanor, comfortable and safe. I soak in the blessing of their presence and give thanks for the common, yet special moment unfolding before my eyes.
And just like that, I find myself enjoying the special moments of today while planning for the big moments of tomorrow.