In our fast paced, high tech world, I often feel like I need to be ‘doing something productive.’  Based on the way folks drive their cars today, I suspect I’m not alone.  How fast we all drive, like there’s always a mad rush to get to where we’re going.  Even down residential streets, it seems very few folks actually abide by the speed limits.  Does that saved 3-seconds really make that much of a difference?  I am just as guilty.

My soccer coach used to say to me all the time, ‘it’s not the destination, but the journey.’  I was a type-A person on the soccer field.  I wanted more training, better skills, longer sessions, and I wanted improvement RIGHT NOW. More than once, she had to reign me in a bit and remind me to enjoy the process on the way to the ultimate goal.

While driving today with my kids, heading to the store so that they could buy presents for their Papi’s upcoming birthday, I had a thought.  Not a novel one, not really all that insightful, but for me, in that moment, it was meaningful.  We were just exiting our apartment complex.  I looked in the rear view mirror as my 4-year-old was telling me some story, and it hit me.  My type-A personality is thinking, ‘okay, we gotta go, get in, pick the gift, get out, get going,’ meanwhile my girls were simply enjoying the ride.

That’s an accurate summary of the recurring difference in their approach to life, and mine.  They just go with the flow, and enjoy all aspects of the ride, while I try to hurry through the ‘mundane’ to get to the ‘important.’

Kids don’t have the pressures of life that adults do, and that is a convenient excuse for my hurriedness, but I don’t know that it is a valid one.

I wrote the other day about my least favorite time of the day being ‘teeth time,’ and how I just want to get it done, yet my girls don’t share my urgency.

So maybe I don’t need to rush through my day.  Maybe I don’t need to always hurry up with the mundane things, to get to the important things.  Maybe the mundane can be important.

Take, for instance, washing up for bed.  Ugh.  I’m tired, it’s a necessary evil, gotta do it.  Or, a few minutes to myself, caring for myself.  A time to reflect on the gift of this body, that functions fairly well most of the time. Appreciation for these teeth, as I brush them, that chew all the delicious food I enjoy.   A time to transition from the hectic day to a time of rest.

Or, back to the car.  I always ‘just want to get there already.’  Instead, this is time with my children, to engage them in conversation.  It’s an opportunity to reflect on the beauty of the creation, looking at they sky, and all its glory.

So maybe, just maybe, the important things are the mundane, and the mundane are important.  The making of the meal, not just the eating.  The getting everyone ready in the morning as part of the day, not the preface that I want to skip through.   Focusing more on the people in my life, rather than the tasks of life.

Maybe when I am able to approach my days with this mentality, I will begin to see a beauty and a wonder in the journey of this life that had previously been hidden from me.

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