As is obvious by the inconsistency in the time between these posts, life sometimes interferes with the things we would like to do. When you are young you believe there is all the time in the world. In middle age you are too busy to realize that time is precious. As you reach the back side of middle age you realize that you have less time left than you thought.
I wish I had spent less time working and more time going to the park; that’s a mistake you don’t have to make with your kids. Supporting your family, paying your bills is important, but you can never get time with your kids back. I wish I could have let go of the tidy house thing a little so we could have played Quiddler more; that’s a mistake you don’t have to make with your kids. The chores are important, but you can never get the time back.
When you find yoursellf saying “but I have things to do”, “but I have to finish this work, project, laundry, whatever”, put it down and go outside, play ball, sing. It is hard to find the balance between getting things done that help make your life better, more productive or financially stable, and the things that bring you happiness. To find a place between work and play, drudgery and joy, that is the trick in life! If you are lucky, you will find work you love and that will help, but you have to remember to put the work down and dance with your wife, laugh with your kids and enjoy a sunny day.
Life has a way of getting in the way of life. Don’t just forge ahead, choose. Don’t just put one foot in the front of the other, dance. You are given one life, don’t let life’s challenges and chores get so in the way that you forget to live it.
Every two weeks, when I get paid, I wake up on Saturday morning and face the ordeal that is Wal-Mart. I detest Wal-Mart but at present I buy all my staple goods there because I feed a lot of people and its what I can afford to do. Andn its great for that. I don’t like the fact that they are known for mistreating their employees, particularly women. I don’t like the fact that they made their original reputation as being the “American made” store but more than half of what they sell is made in China. But you can buy stuff you use all the time for less money than anywhere else; that I like and need. So I make a massive list, check my coupons and head for the store. As I am trolling around the parking lot I am amazed at how crowded it is. It is always like that unless it is the middle of the night when all the meth addicts can’t sleep and need sugar. And around and around you go. Then you can’t go by because people are waiting to get a spot closest to the door; even thought the spot they are waiting for involves people who still have 400 bags to unload into the SUV and two kids to strap in. On the day that inspired this blog I completed my shopping. I came out to the parking lot, unloaded my groceries into my car noting as I did so that there was a very large SUV standing in the middle of the way, entirely blocking me from backing out. So I put my cart away, got in my car, putting on my seat belt, turning on the car, putting it in reverse. And there I sat, for a solid five minutes whiile big SUV waited to save themselves 20 steps. The “obesity problem” has been back on the news a lot because it is summer, the season of the swim suit crash diet hysteria; as if you could lose fifty pounds between May and July. Now refocus and imagine you are in Wal-Mart. Think of the people you are seeing there; imagine the foods in their carts. How many of them are huge? Downright obese? How many of them are wearing clothes at least a size too small? How many of them are wearing spandex, making you want to turn away because you didn’t want to know that much about them? How many of their children are frighteningly fat? Now… how many of them have fresh food in their carts… not many, huh? How many have fresh vegetables or fruit? You get an idea of the state of American health by seeing how much frozen, boxed, bagged and canned food you see on the conveyor at the checkout. If we only eat frozen, processed, fried food, and we can’t walk a few extra steps from the car to the door, no wonder we are so fat.
Hah! Gotcha. That title could mean almost anything. But tomorrow is Mother’s Day, the ultimate hallmark holiday; invented to generate income for restaurants, florists and card shops. I’ve got news for you, if you don’t honor your mother all year long, if your partner doesn’t honor that you are the mother of the children all year long, this one day just isn’t going to do it. Flowers are nice, chocolate is always good, and we like presents. The truth is, however, that the relationship is what matters, the love is what counts. The joy of being a mother is without question its own reward. Anyone who remembers the first time they laid eyes on their infant child, remembers the first “mama”, remembers a little body in the bed with you, knows what I mean. Anyone who has made the boo boo better, has made the tears dry, has made the english homework make sense, knows what I mean. My son is the funny boy. He is at that age where, like the cruise commercial, the smile is a fleeting thing. But sometimes he can’t repress the smile, the joke. For a long time he has been the laughter in our home, something I will miss when he leaves. Of course his dad says he will never leave! But he will. Mother’s don’t lose their daughters but mostly, they do lose their sons. Figuratively speaking of course. It is the rare daughter in law that wants to be close to her mother in law. Anyway, a little appreciation is enough for me. Our son is a great reward. He was a miracle when we got him and he still is. I don’t need hallmark to know that my family loves me. Happy Mother’s Day.