Some days just overflow with activity. It is so easy sometime to look back at the end of a day and wonder “What did I accomplish today?”. Sometimes we feel that we are so busy doing stuff that we feel that we aren’t really doing anything pertinent.
Other times we think that our time just slips past without purpose or value. It is often easy to think that, if we haven’t accomplished some major purpose or goal that day that it has been wasted and our lives are ineffective.
I read once that “the unexamined life isn’t worth living.” So tonight, when I finally got home and relaxed for a few minutes, I spent some time reflecting on my day - the flurry of events and the demands from every quarter. It’s amazing what I found.
The morning started with a coaching session for my trap team. I was frustrated because most of the team didn’t make this particular practice. I know…it was at an odd time on an irregular day and the communication was poor between myself and the kids. I’m sure that the fault lies more with me than them - so I just worked with the few that showed up, including one young man who is technically on the team of one of our competitors. He has shot with us several times and seems to feel more at home with us than with his own team. We had a decent small practice and enjoyed our time together. My son and daughter, Emma, were both there, shot fairly well, and seemed to enjoy the day.
After lunch my son Nathan, his friend Matt, and I went car shopping. We drove about 100 miles, surveyed at least a dozen dealerships, and only found a couple of real possibilities. Of course Nathan has some ideas of his own but I’m not sure if some of them will work out.
We did find a few that we’ll return to look at again and have made a list of more that we need to investigate. Sometime over the next few weeks we’ll find him his new ride.
On the way home we decided that Mom would probably like some live flowers for Mother’s Day. Cut flowers are beautiful, but we’d been working on adding some color to the patio over the last few weeks and decided that some additions in that area would make her happiest. It turned out we were right.
When I got home from car shopping I had some time to just relax. I got a book and a blanket, and decided to take the dog for a short walk and sit outside under the trees and read for a little while. After a little while, Emma Kate, my young next door neighbor and her mother came outside to play and pet Tessa. She brought out a couple of jars of the soapy water mixture used to blow bubbles.
Memories of spending hours with my own children blowing bubbles in the backyard flooded my thoughts. I could see my Emma and Nathan blowing bubbles of their own or chasing the ones that I blew for them. Their laughter still rings in those recesses of my mind where the most valuable of my memories are stored. I still find it amazing how much fun can come out of a $0.29 cent bottle of soapy water.
Lisa, my wife, had been spending some time with her mom and dad today so that I could spend time with Nathan. We decided to go on a short adventure together. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and we needed to get her mom some new telephones. Just for fun we decided to take the motorcycle.
We had a little extra time so we chose to see if we could find the Black Fox Spring. It’s a very historic area, but the spring itself is off the beaten path somewhat - hidden in the middle of a developed area but wonderfully preserved and disguised. A couple of days ago a friend had told me a little about it and we thought that it would make an interesting side trip. After a couple of hours searching we were rewarded with the discovery of the “blue hole” near sunset.
We only had few minutes there but were rewarded with watching large bass jump, frogs croak, crickets chirp, and the promise of an even more wonderful experience when we planned more time on our next visit. Even the occasional mosquito didn’t dampen our spirits. After our outing to the spring, food was definitely in order.
We pondered for a few moments and decided that a nice quiet dinner on the patio at Applebee’s would be a fitting way for us to celebrate the fact that we actually got to spend some time alone. The day was too beautiful to retreat to the artificially lighted interior of some enclosed restaurant.
A nice relaxing meal with the one you love is a great way to spend some time. You get to talk - not necessarily about anything vitally important - but about the little stuff that becomes more important the longer you’re together. In our nearly 24 years of married life we’ve learned to treasure the quiet times - because they seem to come so seldom.
After dinner, we got the phones for her mother for Mother’s Day and took on a little project. I’ve always tried to be sure that my kids were able to give their mother something on Mother’s Day. I began to wonder if little Emma Kate had someone to help her do that, too. After all, two years old is a very important time for a little girl.
Lisa and I took some of the pictures that I had taken of Emma Kate and her mom, put them in a little collage frame, and made plans to give them to her so that she has a present for her mom. It was simple, quick, and easy. A fast trip to WalMart for the frame and a few minutes at WalGreens for the prints. It turned out cute. I hope that she likes it.
There are dozens of “important” things on my to do list that need to be done - and none of them got done today. I could have easily spent the day today working on a multitude of priority projects that have deadlines that are looming closer and closer. So looking back on a day filled with many small activities, what did I find?
1) Most of the critically important things in life have nothing to do with business.
2) Volunteering your time for a good cause is healthy…and it’s not about you…it’s about them. Realizing that is healthy, too.
3) Time spent with children is valuable - not just for the kids, but for you, too. The truth be known, you’ll probably get more out if it than they do.
4) The time you spend laughing and enjoying the company of those you love is never lost or wasted.
5) Flowers make you smile…and are a wonderful way to say “I love you!”
6) Bubbles are fun and everyone should spend some time blowing them as well as watching a two year old enjoy their ephemeral nature.
7) Your own kids grow up too fast so do everything you can spend as much time with them as possible.
8) Celebrations don’ t have to be planned…routine errands don’t have to be boring. Lisa loves to talk about the succulent life where you squeeze all of the joy you can out of each minute. Maybe that is what we did today.
9) Glorious times and wonderful memories are made even on routine days. We simply must become aware of the wonder that exists within the ordinary. Learning to recognize that can take a lifetime.
I’m sure that there are other lessons that I can learn from today…but if not, maybe these are enough.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”