Living In The Moment

I still remember the last day of sixth grade.

I went to a K-6 school. Sixth graders were at the top of the food chain. The “little kids” looked at us with a mixture of respect and fear, which was not lost on us!

Staring out the window, I thought to myself, ”I’m a big kid now!”

Looking back, I realize that was the first of a series of significant life transitions. Life is a highlight reel of those events; the first time behind the wheel, graduation, getting married, buying a home, the birth of a child, seeing that child graduate from school, and watching the cycle repeat.

The future pulls us through life at break-neck speed. Ferris Buhler was right, “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

It’s been nearly a decade since I retired. I have more time to look around now, and I’m beginning to see a trend.

Life’s like climbing a ladder. Initially, we’re on the lower rungs, looking up. The ladder extends forever. One day, a grandparent steps off, then another. Before long, our parents follow, and we find ourselves at the top of the ladder.

MJ and I became grandparents last September with the birth of a sweet little baby girl named Adalyn Marie. Our daughter and son-in-law live in Portland, Oregon, and Facetime us every evening.

The other night, MJ said to me, “What a miracle Adalyn is! She is changing so quickly. I wish I had been more “present” to the miracle of life when our kids were young!”

That’s life in a nutshell!

It’s not about milestones, accomplishments, or accumulations. It’s about “Now” and the miracle of “We!”

Carpe diem, seize the day! The saying traces back to Horace in 23 BCE. It falls under the general category of things we know, but rarely do.

I am fond of Fr. Richard Rohr’s blog. Recently he wrote: “The spiritual journey is a constant interplay between moments of awe followed by a general process of surrender to that moment.”

That captures it!

Looking back, it’s sobering to reflect on all the calories I burned in future-facing endeavors. There were successes, but in the main, the future went ahead and did what it was going to do. If I could give my twenty-five-year-old self advice, it would be; don’t stress out, have a plan, take necessary actions, and enjoy the ride.

I have no idea how many rungs are left on my ladder. Rather than looking up, I think I’ll enjoy each one.

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Follow me at http://tim-coats.com

4 Replies to “Living In The Moment”

  1. You triggered another thought. As you know, I watch our grandson two days a week in Portland. He turns three next month and I started doing this when he was three months old. I comment to Gail about all the wonderful moments with him and how I don’t remember such moments when our children were young. She said, “I think you were traveling all the time”. That, or mowing the yard, or whatever. On this ladder rung, I feel it’s easier to be so much more present – glad I made it this high.

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  2. I really like your 25 year old self-advice—-“don’t stress out, have a plan, take necessary actions, and enjoy the ride”
    At 74 the rest of the ladder not only has fewer rungs but the effort to get to the next rung gets to be a little more with each rung achieved—and I really mean to use the word achieved !! In our young days we were scampering up the rungs— not quite as agile and fast these days… But it is really wonderful to watch and help your own children and grandchildren approach and meet the challenges of their own ladders….”enjoy the ride” and understand the importance of the choices that one has to make while climbing the ladder !!

    Happy Valentine’s Day !!

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  3. “Enjoy the ride” drove me back to the lyric’s written by our dear departed friend Doug. Listening to his music as I write this and fully living the moment.

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