“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” (From Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
It’s Saturday; a time to rest from the week of work or maybe to just have some fun –or at least that’s the way it used to be. These days Saturdays, and for some Sunday’s too; have become days when we shift from the pressures and running around of the week to the pressures and running around of the weekend. Many of us try to catch up with all of the things that we didn’t have time to get to during the week, because we were working so long and so hard. Maybe mowing the grass was put off during the week or making home repairs or grocery shopping or whatever. For whatever reason, for many the weekend has begun to feel almost like a second work week.
For another group – the ones with all of the toys – the weekend is a time to cram in as much use of those toys as possible; so, it is full of riding or boating or maybe playing sports. Whatever the activities, there is never a dull (or quiet) moment. Those with younger children may spend the entire weekend traveling to tournaments or competitions. These people rush around all weekend and end up exhausted on Monday morning.
So, many of us are living life in the fast lane seven days a week. We may be used to it and think nothing of it. That’s life, right? Not really. Someday many of these people will look back and see that the blur of activities that they thought was their life was nothing more than that – a blur. They’ll ask themselves, “What happened? How did I get so old and have so little to remember that is satisfying?” Of course, it’s easy to rationalize this all by trying to convince yourself that you just were doing what had to be done to get through life. That’s what you were doing – just getting through life. As Ferris Bueller might say, “Stop, look around, relax and enjoy your life and the people in it every now and then.”
I think the key to this is pausing to keep things in your life in perspective. What is more important to you, getting that report for work done over the weekend so that you might look like a hero at work or going to your child’s ball game so that you are a hero at home? Is taking your daughter to the father-daughter dance something that you’ll put off until you’re dancing with her at her wedding and wondering what happen to that little girl that you used to give horsy rides to on your leg? As you hug your son goodbye when he ships off to service in some foreign land something that you meant to do more often when he was growing up, but just never seemed to have the time for? Do you want to wake up one morning and realize that the beautiful bride that you’ve been working so hard to provide for is now gray haired and having trouble with stairs? Where did your life go while you weren’t looking? More importantly, why weren’t you looking and living in those moments that you’ve missed?
Take a hint from Ferris and take a day off every now and then to stop and look around and enjoy your life and those in it. Even better; start each day by mentally setting aside some time for the others in your lifer and for yourself. Don’t miss you own life. There will be no do-overs allowed. Life is not a contest to see how much you can cram into it; rather it is there to see how much you can get out of it. At the end of your life, no one will read in your obituary about what a great employee or business owner you were. The obits usually list that you were the loving spouse of, the loving parent of, the loved son/daughter brother/sister of… Make sure that this is a long list of people whom you loved and who loved you back and you will have been a success in life. Don’t miss your life.
Have a great and relaxing weekend doing things that you enjoy surrounded by those that you love. Work will wait for you to get back, life won’t.