I prefer the term, "getting wise." (I have a youthful image to uphold here!) It is true that with age comes wisdom, but as Oscar Wilde once said, "With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone." Don't be that person.
The wiser I get, the more I find myself being selective with my time. Some things that used to seem so important to me, have fallen way down on the list of my priorities. While others, have moved up the list. Part of this just comes naturally. The rest is by conscious decision making; deciding what I will and will not give my time, heart and mind to. It seems the more I make an effort to give my time to the things that are important and that matter, the more this process comes naturally, and the more I enjoy my life and the people in it.
For instance, this past Friday night, Steve and I took the munchkins to "flashlight night" at Washington Farms, (a huge farm that grows strawberries, pumpkins and has all kinds of fun things to do.) We did all the nighttime activities, as well as going through the corn mazes using only flashlights and the light of the moon. Lots of fun! Anyway, before we left, the kids wanted to go back to the jumping pillows.
Now, on our second visit, they didn't ask me to join them. They threw off their shoes, ran to the huge, air-filled-bubble-of-fun, and began bouncing their little hearts out! I took a seat on the "parent-benches," and watched them as they laughed and played, enjoying every second of their time. As I sat there in the seat of the spectator, I took mental notes of the smiles on their faces, the sound of their laughter, their sheer happiness... Then it hit me, the reminder that gets me every time:
You'll never have this same opportunity again.
It always nails me straight through the heart. You'll never have this day, this hour, this moment again.... Live, Christie! LIVE!
I threw off my shoes, ran to the huge air-filled-bubble-of-fun, and began bouncing my little heart out! The kiddos let out shrieks of joy as I ran, rolled, wrestled and raced with them across the big, springy pillow! We played, and played, and played some more! I felt like a kid again. IT. WAS. AWESOME.
Even though we had been on this bouncing expedition for quite a while, I didn't want our playtime to end. But alas, it was getting really late and we needed to get home. As we exited the pillow, there were two parents standing there by the benches. They had been watching us play from the sidelines. One of them exclaimed, "Wow! You lasted a lot longer out there than I would have!" "Yeah," said the other parent, "bet you're tired." (To the contrary, I felt energized.) "The kids were loving it, though!" she continued, "and you made memories that none of you will ever forget."
While this may seem like a trivial thing to some, to me it was monumental. It was a reminder, to enjoy every precious moment we are given and to revel in every ounce of happiness that we share with the people we love.
I hope this little story serves as a reminder for you to do the same.
Don't be a spectator in your own life; be the star athlete!