“He lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glances. He had an odd autobiographical habit which led him to compose in his mind from time to time a short sentence about himself containing a subject in the third person and a verb in the past tense.” – James Joyce
As is our custom, the day before anyone celebrates a birthday, we send them off to bed and go to work transforming our kitchen and living room into a birthday paradise, complete with colorful streamers, banners, balloons and presents. The birthday celebrity is greeted with this birthdayland and a day full of “your choice” picks for food, games and entertainment. This past weekend, my wife and youngest daughter celebrated their birthday together. Yes, that’s right, our youngest was a birthday surprise for my wife, now thirteen years ago. It shocked us this weekend to realize we no longer have any pre-teens in our house.
Time flies so fast. It seemed only moments ago we were holding our newborn, waking up at all hours of the night and facing what seemed like an unrelenting storm of diapers, changing tables, sweet coos, burping, snuggling and crying. I know many of you are enjoying those episodes right now. But as some of you know, what seems like will last forever is gone in an instant. We were given some advice early on as new parents: Remember, babies don’t keep. It is hard work, but enjoy that precious time. Savor each moment and don’t rush it. It will be gone before you know it.
That advice doesn’t just apply to babies or even those of us who are parents. We are all on a meteoric journey through life. Delightful moments flash like sparks across the sky. If we are not careful, we will be watching our lives in the third person as a movie playing out in the past tense. I often have to remind myself, don’t miss it, drink in every minute. Every sunrise and every sunset is a gift. Our heartbeats beacon us to listen, record and embrace the time we have. Each chapter, each act that we perform spills from our hands into the ocean of time. Grab hold of each moment, peer into the now and appreciate how it glistens and glows, for that moment. The final act is coming and the curtain call will be here before we know it. Cherish what we have now, each minute, each day.
During this pandemic, it seems like the days and weeks tend to fly by at a record clip. I realized last week how I was letting so much slip by without a thought. It is easy to fall into an automatic routine and not appreciate the sequence of moments that shape each day. They tend to look the same. This week, I encourage you all to take time to focus on the moment we are in right now. As you read this, dream into the present and let it wash over you like a soft warm blanket. Look around you, what are you missing? Don’t. Take it all in and celebrate it. Live in the first person, present tense. We pass this way but once, don’t waste it, enjoy it!