So, I spent part of this evening watching the movie, “Click” with Adam Sandler. For those who have never seen the movie, let me preface my saying, rent it, buy it, whatever; but definitely see it asap. It is no academy award winning film, it’s not filled with beautiful scenery or costumes, and even the general acting is, in typical Sandler style, a bit on the silly side. That being said, there is a message that comes across and hits me each and every time that I watch it.
Many who know me are aware of how hard I can be on myself. I even once had a friend tell me that I needed to learn to just be content. Truth is, I spend many of my days waiting for them to end because I’m so exhausted with the things I have to do. When my son is being loud, I wish he would quiet down and just listen, I wish my husband would find a job that didn’t force him to travel so he could take over more. I wish the laundry would learn to do itself, and the dog would learn that pillows are not chew toys.
I look in the mirror and wish I were prettier, thinner, and more successful. However, whenever I watch this movie I find myself overwhelmed with the reality of how much time I waste, ‘wishing it away’. There is no perfection in this world aside from what you make for yourself and regard as your own perfection, and days go by so quickly that I sometimes feel guilty for not finding breathless beauty in each one of them.
I looked at my son tonight and realized that he just turned 12 years old. Yet if I close my eyes for even a second, I can still see him when he was first born. The doctor delivered him from my body and said, “Your son is reaching for you.” I looked down to see that he really was. This tiny, beautiful stranger had his head turned to me and his arms reached for me to grab him. Not even a year later he was walking, then soon after, talking. All of the times I used to say, “I can’t wait until he can just feed and dress himself,” well they came faster than I thought. All of that time that I spent wishing he’d grow up, passed in the blink of an eye, and now I just wish he’d let me cuddle him for hours again.
I see my parents now, getting older, sometimes sick even, and I can remember when they seemed invincible. My mother running through the yard throwing water balloons or singing loudly and off key while decorating six trees at Christmas time. I remember my father taking me to company picnics, helping with school projects and being my first influential figure for writing. I eventually reached an age when I just couldn’t wait to grow up and move out, but had I known how hard days could be without my father’s wisdom and my mother’s amazing heart to guide me, I might have stayed a few years longer.
My husband and I have now been together for eight years, and married for nearly three. Eight years of conversations and memories; eight years of building a friendship into love, and yet I can still recall the butterflies in my stomach the very first time he told me I was beautiful. I can still remember the things we laughed about on our first date, and how sincere he was when he first told me he loved me. It has been five and a half years since he’s been back to traveling for work every week. Had I known that someday I wouldn’t have his arms to come home to every single night, I would have spent more of my time wrapped up in them.
I see my friends now; mothers and wives. Grown women with amazing careers and incomparable inner strength, but I still remember a group of crazy girls with horrible hair and poor judgment in early 90’s fashion who used to honestly dance as if no one were watching. I can still feel the unspoken promise of a friendship that didn’t mean we’d see each other every day, but you could bet we would show up when one of us was in need. I go weeks now sometimes without talking to them, busy with my day’s to-do’s, and yet a photograph is still enough to flood my mind with memories.
So what in the world is all my babbling about? It’s about taking time for what is real in your life before you wake up one day to find it gone or changed. There will always be laundry to do, messes to clean, errands to run and work days to complete. You will undoubtedly have days when you’re so exhausted that you can barely speak, let alone play with your child. And yes, there will be times when you’d rather climb into PJ’s and your bed rather than have a date night with your hubby or a girl’s night with friends. However, what good is your life unless you embrace the things and the people who fill it?
So, if you’re reading this now, stop. Shut down your computer, turn off your phone and lay down that tablet. Play with your child as if they’ll be grown tomorrow morning, rekindle romance with your husband as if it were the very first time together, go through old year books and laugh with a friend for hours, or stop by to visit your parents for no other reason than to see their faces. Embrace your life; because trust me, you don’t have to wish it would go faster, it moves at lightening speed with or without your wishes. If you do not stop to embrace it, you may someday find yourself wishing that you had paid more attention to all the moving pieces.