If I am being completely honest with myself, I’ll tell you, I am generally never satisfied. I’ve always wrestled with the beast that is discontentment. I’ve always been too young. Too inexperienced. Too plain. Too poor. Too stationary. Too unaccomplished for my liking.
My waist needs to be thinner. My stomach flatter. My hair more voluminous. My eyelashes longer. My skin tanner. My legs longer. My arms more toned.
My mind should be quicker. My reading list longer. My resume better. My degree more impressive.
My heart needs to be more pure. More selfless. More serving. More encouraging. More surrendered. More generous. More grateful.
And I have to be the best wife. Best mother. Best daughter. Best sister. Best everything. And everyone’s best friend.
Then. My life will be better. Those will be “the days” I have been waiting my whole life for. Those will be the days that life is all about. Those will be the days when life is right.
But what if I’m wrong?
What if these are the days?
My eyes have always been on the next goal, the next achievement, the next level. The next. Never where I am. By nature, I want to be an achiever. A goal setter. A to-do list maker. A busy bee.
And that’s my sweet spot. That’s what I am good at. That’s where I am comfortable.
I never knew how to soak in the moment and settle in. I never knew how to savor time. Savor being on the lower wrung of the ladder. Savor naivety. Savor slow motion and standing still. Savor the days of no responsibility for a family. Savor the days where the world was at my fingertips and every possible path lay before me, begging me to take any next step I desired. Savor the days of our first apartment and the toilet that was sinking into the ground and the dry earth that was peeking through the cracks in the hallway floor. Savor the days of being a first-time mom, where sleep was scarce and love was rich. Savor the moments with my second, who is the one who taught me what it meant to savor every moment in the first place.
I never knew how to savor that time until I realized that was the only time I had been given.
I never knew until I had no other choice but to hold on tightly to the moments I had.
Sometimes, we can spend our entire lives waiting. And when we get there, our eyes are still set on the horizon rather than the ground beneath our feet. Sometimes we spend years climbing one mountain, we forget to live in the valleys between.
But what if the valleys are where the memories are made?
What if the valleys are where the life is lived?
What if this is the only time you have been given?
I used to think that I was invincible. That time could not touch me and death was decades away. Time likes to creep up on you, and death either stays a stranger or an intrusive friend.
I lived my life waiting for the “next,” until death taught me differently.
Death taught me to hold tightly to our moments. Death taught me to love fully, without holding back, and to embrace the mess. Death taught me to cherish.
What if these are our days to cherish? What if these are the days, the moments, the hugs and kisses, the sweet words and smiles, what if these are the days?
And what if we missed them? What if we spent our every moment looking ahead, that we missed the chance to notice the dirt, the soil, the earth beneath our feet? What if we lived our whole lives hating the discomfort, hating the discontentment, when really those things are what life is made of?
What if we missed the worries, the questions, the cries, the sleepless nights, the fights, the stress, the bonds, the hugs, and the little cheek kisses. The struggles. The love. The pain. The joy. What if we missed one more chance. One more moment. One more day. One more hug. What if we missed all the things in our rush to the next goal?
What if these are the days?
What do we do if they are?
We embrace the messy. We take it all in. We become content with the discontent. We sit for a bit before rushing to the next goal. We see the beauty in the little moments. We find the joy in the pain. We celebrate the tiny victories and the baby steps. We give thanks. We brush things off and we laugh. We experience. We welcome. We give every ounce of love we have. We take our chances. We give our all.
Because we never know when it’s too late.
These are the days you have been waiting for. You are living them.
These are the days you have been given.
Don’t miss them.