“It’s when I get lost in the days’s details, or so caught up in worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is.”
Taken from the “Gift of an Ordinary Day, A Mother’s Memoir,” Katrina Kenison.
The book is the story of a woman, wife, and mother who discovers that what is most important in her life is an ordinary day. Having lost her job and career as a successful editor, she realizes what is important in life. Now, her kids are almost grown. It is not scrambling to make a lot of money, be famous, or be the best, but to enjoy watching her kids grow up and cherish each moment because those moments are gone for good.
For example, she misses the days when the kids were young. Those years would last forever as she raised them and did her job. She realizes there is no point in lamenting what was because even this moment will pass, so it should be enjoyed.
One person who reviewed this book said,
“Enjoy the simple things. Time goes fast. Take the time to enjoy your kids before they grow up and leave for college. The best moments are not over-scheduled activities but what you do on those ordinary days.”
Another reviewer said, “Enjoy the simple things. Time goes fast. Take the time to enjoy your kids before they grow up and leave for college. The best moments are not over-scheduled activities but what you do on those ordinary days.”
A friend spends countless moments worrying about current events, including what is happening to the American Economy, American Politics, and the international situation. These worries have gotten so bad that he consulted a psychiatrist and is now on Xanax to reduce his extreme anxiety. This person, as well as the rest of us, needs to read and remember the Serenity Prayer::
God, give me the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time
There are ways that people can learn to do this. Meditation is a good way to get into what is important in life. Exercise and good nutrition are equally important, and incorporating Yoga into daily life also helps.
I will always remember what the late Zen Buddhist, Thich Nhat Hanh, wrote about life. Here is a paraphrase of how he handled life:
“When I do the dishes, I concentrate on that without looking to finish. I absorb myself at that moment because I will never again have that moment.”
Many people either regret decisions they made in the past or constantly wish for some future time when they believe their lives will be better.
Many years ago, I knew a High School math teacher who spent his time counting the days until the next vacation from school. He made it a fraction expressed as the number of days until Thanksgiving over the rest until summer vacation. The tragedy is that he died young. It’s an example of the idiom that warns us not to wish our days away.
Embrace each moment of life.
Allan N. Schwartz, PhD