Do you ever have those days where you lounge around all day and by the evening you start to feel as though you’ve wasted time and been completely unproductive? The other day I spent most of my afternoon just sitting on the floor with Ashtyn, watching her play and trying to keep her out of trouble (she can’t crawl yet but she’s pretty good at dragging herself around. It’s so cute.). Anyway, when Jeff came home later that day I complained to him that I hadn’t really done anything that day and you know what he said to me? He reminded me that we’ll only be able to play with Ashtyn like this for so long. The changes these kids go through happen so fast. She’s already so different from when we brought her home from the hospital. And it occurred to me that it’s hard for people to just be still. We’re so used to being busy, that when we’re not–we feel useless. I have a feeling this is unhealthy. I once read this quote that said something to the effect of ‘At the end of your life, no one ever wishes they’d spent more time at the office.’ I’m always surprised by people who say things like they have no regrets because the choices they made have made them who they are. How can you have no regrets? How can you not regret hurting people? How can you not regret things you’ve said? How can you not regret choosing the unimportant things in life over the important things?
I know I have regrets. Memories of things I’ve said or done that weren’t the right choice or that ended up hurting others. As much as I can, I want to avoid the regret of placing less important things in front of Ashtyn. Or Jeff. Or the rest of my family and friends. Because when everything is stripped away, it seems to me that it’s only our relationships that matter.
So I want to work on being okay with being still. Not worry so much about whether I’m wasting my time. I think I should be worried about wasting moments. Times when I get to hold and feed Ashtyn. Talking to my sisters. Just being with Jeff. Time seems to be going fast for me. My sister turned 26 yesterday and it shocks me. I can’t believe it’s been around seven years since I graduated from college. That I’ve been working at my job for going on five years. I don’t really mind getting older. I have Jeff and Ashtyn and people who love me and grow older with me. But do you ever fear that you’ll turn around and ten years will have passed and you’re not sure what was so great about those years? I wonder how I’ll feel when I turn forty. Will I look back over the ten years behind me and feel like they were full of life and special memories and times of personal growth? I hope so. I don’t want to look back and think that I really should have considered rearranging my priorities. Or feel like I don’t know my family or that I’m not involved with the people I love.
Jeff’s reminder brought me back to reality. That Ashtyn is growing fast. That time is passing quickly. Spending it together is never a waste. It’s the very best thing I could be doing. That this is my priority. That I would regret not spending days just playing with her or talking with Jeff or reading a great book. (Okay I threw that in. I’m in the middle of the Twilight Saga and pretty crazy about it.)
To me, being still, or quieting your spirit, is just another way of slowing down and taking stock of who you are and who you want to be. At the end of my life, I know I’ll never wish I’d worked more or worried more. But I hope I’ll be content with who I am and not be overcome with regrets from choices made. And that starts early–being intentional about becoming who I want to be. And that’s someone who realizes that the people I love mean more than anything else. Growing as a person is important to me. Doing good for others matters to me.
It’s snowing outside right now, just so beautiful. And I’m going to practice being still and enjoying this moment.