When you think back to life when you were a kid, what is the first memory that pops into your head?
Is it a specific event? A photograph? A feeling?
For me, it is one particular day. Nothing special happened on that day, it was just a regular August day; hot sunny, and endless. I remember it like it was yesterday, even though I have no idea what year it even was. It is a memory that flashes into my mind often, especially when I need to go to a "happy place".
I clearly remember my run through the sprinkler with my sister and best friend. I can see my small self on a towel on the driveway, the hazy sky above me, the hard cement under me. I can feel the warm sun on my face. I remember how the day lasted forever.
Once I naively thought life would last as long as that summer day felt.
Unfortunately I have learned that life goes by faster every day, week, month and year. So fast, that as I looked through old photo albums today on my first baby's 20th birthday, I experienced a sense of panic.
I am no longer the kid in the pictures. I am grown. I am old. And yet, I have so much that I would still like to accomplish. So much life that I want to enjoy.
One of the things my grown up self now hopes for, is to be able to enjoy another day like the one from my memory. A day that goes on and on, and is not marked by what I did or didn't accomplish, but instead by how happy and content I feel. Will life ever be that uncomplicated again?
I have only to think of the responsibilities I have now, and realize why I want to go back. I long for the nothingness of that day. No plans. No worries. No stress. No expectations. No urgency. Just contentment. Peace. Calm. Happiness. A time when there was nothing on my to do list, when I didn't second guess myself, and I had not a care in the world.
So fleeting was that precious feeling of just being.
My life lesson to those of you who have a lot of life ahead... is simple: slow it down; savor the day. Remember to be happy with what you have in your life, in every moment, and not wish forward to the days to come. Otherwise, you may find yourself there all too fast, and wish instead that you could go back.
Remember my friends, to just be.