I picked up my kids from school today, same time every day, 2:20 PM. And as always, sunny skies and warm. The kids just had a three day weekend over Labor Day and weren’t much in the mood for school this morning. Can’t blame them.
But my son happily gets in the car, had a great day at school, and says “Let’s go to the beach”.
I had a busy day, getting the kids to school in the morning, picking up gas and groceries at Costco, and watching Youtube tutorials in preparation for switching my website design. I had been thinking as I was driving to get the kids that I was anxious to get back and finish one particular video that had a lot of information (it is three hours long). And my blog site was a mess. Then I was cooking dinner and needed to do a little cleaning and laundry. And it was hot in the house.
“Not today Bud” I said. “And weren’t we just at the beach every day for the last three days for at least 3 hours a day?”
“So?” he replied.
“So isn’t that enough for the week? We can’t go every day. Why don’t we just go this weekend?”
“No. I want to practice some Boogie Board moves. Let’s go today”
Didn’t he know it was a thirty-minute drive? Didn’t he know I was in the middle of a project? Didn’t he know rush hour was going to start? Didn’t he know I had dishes to clean, dinner to cook, laundry to wash, things I wanted to get done? Didn’t he know I would have like a beach break? I didn’t even need to ask. I knew what he would say. “So?”
What is it that prevents us from living in the moment. I know that with work and family come responsibilities. I know it isn’t always convenient. It’s guilt. Maybe it’s not guilt. Maybe I’m not sure. I guess I have never been able to explain that brake on life I seem to apply when faced with situations that fly in the face of the planned day, week, month, the life that I think I should adhere to.
I want to be spontaneous. Take chances, live an unplanned day, drive the opposite way, wake up late, leave the dirty dishes in the sink. Have no idea what time it is, don’t care what the stock market is doing, never watch the news again. Take a shower at night instead of the morning, grow my hair long, put an earring in my nose, (ok, not that one). I want my kids to know how to enjoy life. Not by someone telling them, but by living it. I want to enjoy an unfettered life.
Took me 3 minutes to say “Yes, let’s go to the beach.”. See, I am getting better. But with conditions.
“We can only stay an hour. You need to do your homework when we get back. And if we go today, absolutely no beach tomorrow.” So I’m not perfect.
We went and he had a great time in the water even though there were only small waves. I had a great time watching him. We stayed two hours. I wanted to stay the extra half hour to watch the sunset, but I had let myself off the leash for enough time. We saw the sun set in the rear view mirror on the way home.
It’s interesting seeing posts on Facebook. If you throw out the shares, likes, comments, and ads, what you are basically seeing is someone at their “enjoy life” time. Pictures on trips, at the cabin, day off, family get together’s, pictures of the kids, pets, and other fun stuff. This is the life we all want to have. All the time.
Other than when I was a kid, this is probably the closest I have come to let some of the chains off my strict control of my happiness. I have heard this on more than one occasion, but when the subject of enjoying life comes up, the word is that I think too much. Analysis paralysis. It is true.
I am definitely going to start thinking less, when I get time.
I asked my daughter if she wanted to come with to the beach with us. She said no. I think she has issues.