I know this falls well short of being a profound statement, but this is a strange time of the year. It’s a period typically spent looking toward the future AND one of examining the past. What does the new year hold? What can we take away from the year we leave behind? Or the decade?
I may be wrong, but I think we as a species tend to spend most of our minutes and hours and days looking forward, always anticipating or hoping for something, even if it’s ill-defined. (That’s not to ignore the very real human experience of regret, which is a powerful rear-facing driver for many of us and would take a series of posts to explore properly). The last few weeks of the year especially give us something very concrete to look forward to, even if it’s not always positive. For some of us, it is a happy-bordering-on-giddy-anticipation, as the season and all its traditions wash over us. For others it’s controlled by dread, because the holiday season represents loneliness or death or some other trauma or devastating memory (past and future colliding.)
For me, having youngish kids, it seems time in general is flying faster than it ever has, and this holiday season has been no exception. It seems like it was just Halloween. Halloween 2018, at that! I was vowing to enjoy the upcoming season, and now that season is gone, and I’m not sure if I enjoyed it or not. I think, in part, this is due to the fact that most of parenthood at this stage, for me, is spent just trying to get through the day, looking ahead even to the next available moments of respite, like a winter swimmer dipping under the ice, doing whatever he can to just make it to the next open breathing spot.
But this tendency is not just relegated to the holidays. During our minutes and hours and days the rest of the year, we tend to yearn for what’s to come. Maybe it’s a lunch break where we can sit in a safe place and eat grocery store sushi (hey, don’t knock it), or the 5 o’clock work’s-done whistle (Do they still have those?). Maybe it’s a vacation or a baby or a birthday or an evening with friends or a moment alone (my wife will raise her hand here!). Maybe it’s a seasonal transition, a change a climate that always seems to lead to a change in mood. Maybe it’s an email or a phone call or a social media notification that we believe is going to change our life.
I’m rambling a bit, so here’s the thing: I don’t know about you, but I REALLY want to enjoy the moments I have left, to soak up what God has given me.
Here’s to being in the moment with my children, even in the doldrums of the daily tasks or when they are flat out moody and mad, either at me or each other.
Here’s to recognizing every day that a beautiful woman WAY out of my league has chosen to do this life with me.
Here’s to seeking wisdom from the Father, and thanking Him for each moment, even those I’ve considered in the past to be dull.
Here’s to writing more and worrying about my ability to write less.
Here’s to the next few moments of 2020, and whatever lies beyond.
Happy New Year, friends!
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