I’ve had so many moments that have been capsul-ized by other people stopping me and telling me not to miss them, to embrace everyday, to stop and smell the flowers, that it is rather ironic to be the one telling the young people I know now in my life, that message of Carpe’ Diem. To enjoy these moments, all of them, even the tough ones, “because someday they will be your good old days.”
I’ve shared before in another post, how my grandma once asked me how old I thought she felt inside. I was about thirty and she was in her early seventies. I asked, “I don’t know grandma how old do you feel?” And she’d said, “about 17” So matter of factly, I never forgot it.
NOW I GET it! Sometimes, when I am in the shower, with my eyes closed, there is something so familiar about doing something I’ve done since I was ten that makes me feel kind of ageless, trying out a new shampoo, takes me back to when I was a teen with my youth in front of me. My hair was a lot longer and my body a lot younger, but I sometimes feel like that young girl when I am standing under that water, and not someone’s grandma! Maybe everyone has those certain times that just catch you off guard like a rubber band and you are snapped back in time. A scent, a song, a taste, hearing an old friend’s name, sends you there. I know swimming or riding a bike, mowing the lawn or even weeding the rocks takes me back in an instant. As if time stands still while I take a magic carpet ride into yesterday.
A few years later, an older woman, (probably younger than I am today) stopped me in Target when my little baby girl looked up at me (less than 2) and said “Mommy I love you.” And the woman said, “Cherish these days, my daughter just got married and I’d give anything to have these days back again.” I smiled and kind of knew what she meant, but I do feel as if I did cherish every minute of those baby days with my kids. I loved when they’d wake up and it was a new day with new discoveries. But I did kind of rush them, I mean I loved the progress, the first sign of recognition, the first words, first steps. Looking back, I could have just been a little more patient, instead of always looking forward to what came next. Now my daughter is getting married this summer and those memories of those women’s words, one my grandma, and the other a complete stranger resonates more for me now than any other time in my life.
Sometimes when I am in Target, I hear a little baby’s voice chatting to a half listening mom and I might say something to plant the same seed that was planted in my heart a little less than three decades ago, other times I hear a screaming kid and I wonder if I’d still have the patience. But think… yes I would, it is different when they are your own. Howling or not. You want to scream yourself at times, but in the end, it is the best thing I ever did in my life.
Today there is a part of me that looks back a lot, that knows that someday I will look back with regret if I don’t stop and embrace these days. Because you know what? Every moment, now will someday be our good old days. I have a favorite Winnie The Pooh saying that goes like this:
“Though honey is a very good thing, sometimes right before you taste the honey, is almost as good as when you do!”
It is all about embracing the moments before the good things happen. To live in the moment. Even the frustrating ones. To look forward, but not too far ahead so you don’t miss the minute you are in.
Time is like a silent whisper,
a gentle moving nudge
trying to hold it too close
as it evaporates
through our fingers
or letting it go
embracing the moment
as the memory lingers