Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moments verses Milestones.....

It was a really nice weekend. Greg and I had date night on Saturday and enjoyed Social Network, about Facebook and its founders. Then today we snuggled in on a bitter WI winter day and never ventured outside, napping, playing board games and reading stories - along with probably too much t.v. watching for the kids.

Tonight Kirk and I read a picture book about JFK. I'd picked it up at a thrift store because Kirk loves to quote the line, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." It was an interesting story, and as we read it, he asked a lot of good questions, and I was thinking how knowledgeable he's getting about U.S. history. Later we were reading a story about feudal times and the adventures of Jeanne de Montfort during the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453) between England and France, which I didn't even know happened;-). As we read, I was again thinking how much further ahead Kirk is than I was at his age, that he's reaching certain milestones quite early.

This morning, I watched Kai trying to sound out the word cat and jet and was thinking within a year, he'll be reading too. What an exciting milestone that will be.

As I work on my books, I think about the January trip to NYC and the hopes of meeting an agent and think, what an exciting milestone that will be.
And so on. Then tonight I flipped my little motivational calendar to the next page and saw the quote "Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments. Rose Kennedy"

How timely a reminder! It is so ironic that we were just reading about her son - his life's milestones wrapped up in about twenty pages. Also ironic that I was thinking earlier today how fun it would be if I could be 25 again, with my whole life stretched out in front of me, and still feel uber young and full of possibilities, but somehow know I'd marry Greg and we'd have these wonderful kids. I found myself thinking how much less angst I would have had, and how much I would have enjoyed my twenties. But life doesn't work that way. The season of contentment doesn't tend to come in one's twenties along with that smooth skin and flat stomach;-)...

And the milestones are pretty few and far between. Should I get an agent, I would be over the moon and we would toast the evening and celebrate. But even assuming a five hour celebration with friends - itself a long party when we don't tend to be the party type, that celebration of the milestone, would be the culmination of probably 400 hours of writing. So surely, "life" was more a matter of those moments typing away at my laptop at Panera and not the short milestone of the accomplishment.

It's not a new idea, but enjoying the journey is a lesson I seem to need to keep reminding myself of. And with the kids, I need to remember not to be always looking for the next milestone - Kirk's front teeth to grow in, his Christmas play at church, Kai learning to read or turning four. Instead I want to enjoy all the minutes in between, which wiggle out of my grasp and dissipate into the air if I'm not present and watching and aware (thank you Eckhart Tolle for lots of good advice on this).

So that is a rather long winded way of saying, "seize the journey" and not just the milestones along the way since the time you spend traveling along the road is a lot longer than the exciting moment of arrival at your destination;-). Good wishes to each of you on your journeys.

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