I heard a beautiful song today called, ‘Don’t miss your life’ by Phil Vassar. The lyrics describe a busy father, who has travelled his whole life through work. After dedicating many years chasing his career, he now feels deep sadness and regret on missing his children growing up.
Listening to this message, and then reflecting on my own my life, I felt happiness. I have intentionally looked for work with minimal travel, and always ensured a positive work-life balance for my family.
This was then followed by a sharp realisation. I am physically present with my family, but am I really all there, mind and body? Or am I swallowed up in life, always waiting for the next thing, while life is flying by.
First of all, a quick disclaimer, I am the BIGGEST advocate for setting goals and chasing your dreams. I even start feeling empty and frustrated, when I’m not moving forward in life – but, constantly striving onwards and not appreciating what is right in front of you, is a huge mistake.
This was a teachable moment for me: I was taking the simple, routine-led days for granted. Somehow the life my family and I had, was not already enough, and there was something better waiting for us. I felt there was always something I should be doing, and couldn’t just sit still.
We are constantly thinking about what is to come, as if what is right in front of us, is not enough to focus on. The feeling of wanting more, but not knowing exactly what ‘more’ is, can become painfully all-consuming.
The answer though is easy: ‘This is it – it’s happening now!’. The most simple parts of my life, be it reading to my little girl, a beautiful sunset or just laughing with my wife, are the GOOD times. This is it. If I am lucky enough to grow old, I will look back on these precious moments with an aching heart.
Most of us live life in fast-forward without even noticing. Since having children, I’ve become more aware of the weeks, months and years flying by – as my kids double in size and change so much. I want to slow things down, and live life slower.
I am 37 now, although I feel much younger. However, it’s possible I am discovering the first seeds of wisdom, conjured up over 4 decades of life. To be content with what I have and appreciate the small blessings that occur regularly and previously unnoticed, is a real gift.
Love life and embrace what is in front of you right now. As Mother Teresa said, ‘Be happy in the moment, that is enough’.
This moment is enough. Don’t miss your life, this is it right now. Blink and you’ll miss it.