Today was one of those days where I had about a million things that needed done, and I could’ve used more like 48 hours instead of 24 to do it all in. One of those days where all the stoplights turn red right before you get to them. Where every possible delay and inconvenience that you don’t want to happen…happens.
I came home tonight with a to-do list. If you know me at all, you’d know I do NOT like that. I like to multi-task. I like to get things done. Crazy as it sounds, I thrive on having a list of things to do, & the satisfaction that comes from knowing you took care of it.
I came home tonight feeling defeated. Overwhelmed. Unproductive.
My plan was to occupy the girls, and get the things done I needed to do. As I was pulling in the lot, though, I thought about the many patients I have seen during my career who are at opposite ends of life as me. Who, when I’ve shown them pictures of my girls, say, “honey, you better enjoy it now, because it goes way too fast.” The people I’ve met and taken care of who have told me their biggest regret in life was that they didn’t spend enough time with their family.
I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want to come home to my ladies frazzled by all the things I still need to do. I don’t want the things that involve them–dinner, baths, bed–to be things that I dread doing or stress over. Because all too soon I will be on the opposite end of life, & I do NOT want to be that person telling some 30-something woman taking care of me that I wished I’d spent more time doing the things that count.
So…we left the house a mess. Left things undone. We ran. We sang silly songs. We pondered the mysteries of life (from a four year old perspective ) such as why does your heart stay inside your body, and how does it grow big enough to love so many people at one time?
We played in dirt. We stood on tree stumps. We collected sticks and brought a few back home.
Afterward, we decided that we’d found a cool new spot for picnics this summer, and we splurged on fast food for dinner. It was exactly how I needed to end the day, and it brought perspective back to what really matters.
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil–this is the gift of God.” –Ecclesiastes 3: 12-13