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“In life, one has the choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day – or to celebrate each day as being special.” – R. Ogunlaru [Tweet this.]

OLearys Going to Church4OLEARY_WEB_600x75It requires Herculaneum effort, advanced planning, a bit of craziness and absolute audacious resolve to accomplish. It’s much easier to skip, much less stressful to give in, and much more exhausting to attempt. It’s not for the weak of heart or the weak of spirit. I’m of course referring to trying to get a bunch of kids bathed, dressed, fed, and out the door for church on Sunday mornings!

After all the effort and stress, parents then have the daunting responsibility of somehow policing a small mob of fired-up, energetic, and often very verbal children through an hour-long service.

Last week ours ended with one child clinging to my legs, another clutching onto my neck, and sweat dripping from my body. An older lady I’d never met before approached, smiled warmly and asked, “Do you have any idea how lucky you are? These days are going to fly. Enjoy them.”

My friends, this kind reminder is echoed frequently by other parents who have lived through this same phase. It seems that everyone with older children realizes now how beautiful those earlier days were. They realize the diapers and running noses and screaming that kept them “too busy” are now what they remember most fondly.

“Do you realize how lucky you are? These days are going to fly. Enjoy them.”

This sentiment isn’t just shared with young parents, though. How many people told you in grade school to enjoy that time, because it would zip past? How often did they remind you to enjoy the sock hops, school plays, two-recesses and close friends?

How many older cousins told you to relish high school, because pretty soon you’ll have to grow up? How frequently were you encouraged to enjoy those dances, those Friday night football games, those pep rallies and those pop quizzes?

How many aunts and uncles reminisced about their college experience reminding you to enjoy your years in college: very few responsibilities, those fraternity parties, that amazing class schedule, those late nights? They’d remind you that they were certain to be the fastest five years of your life 😉

Here’s the point: looking back we all realize the absolute gift of each stage. We appreciate the wonder of childhood, the energy in high school, the freedom of college, the awe of raising kids, the joy of launching them forward. Yet, in our own little space, in whatever stage we find ourselves today, too frequently we are experts at ruminating how great the past was, but less skillful at embracing the great gift that is our life today.

My friends, maybe the time has come to stop longing to get past this phase and hoping for the next thing to come our way. [Tweet this.] Maybe it’s time to wake up from either living in the past of who we were or longing for the future of who we might become. Maybe it’s time to realize that there are two paths before each of us today: to wait for some special day – or to celebrate each day as being absolutely special.

Next time someone approaches you and asks, “Do you realize how lucky you are? These days are going to fly. Enjoy them.”  Be prepared to look them in the eye, smile warmly and respond, “I know! That’s why I celebrate each day as being an absolute gift!”

So, what’s your answer to the big question? Do You Know How Lucky You Are? What are you celebrating today? I want to hear! Share in the comments below. 

 

 

0 replies on “Do You Know How Lucky You Are?”

So, what makes a 63 year-old grandmother of two so excited about receiving a new football helmet for her birthday? EVERYTHING! It seems like my son always struggled with a sense of direction and finding a path for success. Battling ADD throughout school made it difficult for him to finish things and drove this teacher crazy when college was not his postsecondary choice. After attending a two-year program in collision and body, he pursued a job he thought he’d love. He did all the right things; followed up after the application, talked to the manager of the paint department, checked in frequently, and worked a temp job while he waited and hoped. He landed the job painting and finishing college and professional sports helmets. My birthday gift was a customized football helmet; candy apple red with a metal flake layer and crackle effect. What could be better? It’s so much more than a helmet… working towards a dream, seeing a sense of accomplishment, knowing how to navigate the real world. My son may not realize how much this helmet means, but it is my very best birthday present EVER.

Cheryl — that is an awesome story. So glad you shared it with us and that you are enjoying watching your son grow into his rhythm as an adult. Thanks for all you do and for all you’ve done. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY! J

Thank you so much for sharing! I am going through some huge life changes right now; one of them being my 16 year old son moving out to live with his Grandpa. I have been looking back at his childhood, wishing that I had enjoyed more of the simple things with him. Being a single parent I often felt that my plate was overflowing. Now, I need to take a step back and celebrate the good things that are happening now with him! My boyfriend and I also broke up around the same time…so my life has been a little turned upside down.
Today I am celebrating finally cooking a meal for just myself. This is the first time that I have lived alone and was having a hard time dealing with it. Today I also celebrate the time I have to get to know myself again so that I can be a better mom to my wonderful son.

My youngest is beginning his senior year in high school today! I did cherish all the school and youth activities! I had to stop myself way back when and tell myself “this will go very fast, just enjoy”. Ever since I do just stop and enjoy the plays, musicals, ski team, soccer team, football games and the kids movie nights at my home. Great advice to all new parents – just stop and enjoy. Take it all in as it is so gone in just a few short years.

Hi John, great thoughts for us, thank you. I am 62 and all above has hit me through the years. But, I remember when my kids were babies and I would sit there in awe, in the moment, and think, how lucky I was, watching them sleep, enjoying them at a playground, fighting with them, and how fast this time is going to go. It did go fast, no matter how I tried to protect that time with them. Darn, I wish I could of boxed it up. Have a wonderful day!

Its okay to fondly remember — as long as you are appreciating the beauty of TODAY too, right!? Thanks for sharing Helen — I hope you see abundant joy today. J

John,

Your blog brought forth many memories of raising our twins, and although I wish I could redo them over, what you wrote reminds me to be in the present with them and my wife, every day. Thanks for your insightful and inspirational writing!

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