Over Labor Day we enjoyed a rare weekend of respite at the lake. It was beautiful – a great combination of play and relaxing, boisterous fellowship and the still peaceful quiet. I remember my son sighing contentedly over some frozen yogurt on a hot day. He said, “Ahhh. This is LIFE.” I always smile at his use of the phrase, and it’s what kept running through my head over the weekend, “Ahhh, THIS is life.”
Somehow on a boat ride on Monday, my daughter and I started thinking about school the next day. Sure, this time tomorrow we’ll be in school. But today? We’re at the lake. And we decided that the “right now” at the lake is what we’d choose to focus on. Because THIS is life.
But after a crazy week, Friday morning I cheered, “Yay, it’s Friday! The weekend is almost here!”
After dropping the kids off at school I felt disappointed in myself for my comment. What was I teaching my kids about how to view life? My lesson was essentially: make every effort to put aside the real world and enjoy the “right now” on a holiday. But not on a weekday. On a weekday, we should put aside – survive even – the “right now” and look instead on the potential future happiness that the weekend holds. What a contrast. If anything, we should be making more of an effort on a weekday to enjoy the time we’ve been given. Sure, it’s harder. But not less important.
The cashier at the grocery store said to me the other day, “Have a good day,” as I left. I responded cheerily, “You too.” He chuckled, waving his hand through the air as if dismissing my comment, “I’m stuck here,” he informed me. I just smiled, but I thought, “Well, I would still hope you’d have a good day.” Wouldn’t we all still want a good day, no matter where we’re “stuck”?
Where are you stuck? We’re all “stuck” somewhere. How do you want that time to go?
When the kids get home from school, I’m going to apologize for blowing off the “right now” instead of looking for the joy in it. If I can make every effort on a weekend to focus on the joy there, I can make every effort (and more) to look for joy right now.
We can’t just focus on the “right now” when the right now is good, when it’s easy and fun. And then, when the “right now” is not desirable, rush through it, quickly on our way to something “better”.
“This is life”, my son said. He’s right. But not just about the frozen yogurt and the holiday weekend at the lake. Life isn’t just the lake. Most of life happens on the weekday. Life is happening right now.