A few amazing things have happened to me in the last two weeks or so and they relate in roundabout ways to a lot of the things I talk to people about, usually each time we sit down together.
Over the weekend I took my son and his friend over to the ball field in town to practice hitting and catching before tee ball season begins. It was HOT, dirty and zero wind to help cool us. In most respects it was a miserable day to be out on a hot field hitting ground balls and playing catch. But the boys didn’t even notice. They stood in the field and waited in anticipation for each ground ball to come off the tee. They caught them and threw them back. Pure joy radiating from the faces of six year old boys, and I realized in that moment that someday I would miss this. Not a little, but a lot. Someday in the not so distant future, my kids won’t ask me to play tee ball. They won’t ask me to read to them or do other things with them, they’ll choose technology and friends over mom and dad. That moment changed my outlook that day because that brief thought, in that moment, turned that one hour into the best hour of my week.
On Tuesday of this week I visited my Dad in the hospital. We visited for six hours or so and I left him to sleep as he settled into his room around 2:00 am. We talked about a lot of things that evening, but one thing struck me more than the others. I told him of my request to my brother several weeks earlier. My brother recently bought a house around the corner from us and there is a big open field in his backyard which is also across the street from my front yard. I asked my brother if he would be up for a game of catch. He laughed and told me I was weird. I told him it had been at least 20 years since we played catch. We still haven’t played catch, but when I told my Dad he smiled. And said, “Yeah, those are the things you miss."
Today, I sit down to write this blog post and I start my Apple Music to a random playlist. Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide is the first song up before I even had a chance to type the first word. An excerpt of those lyrics is below:
Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
And can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Oh oh I don't know, oh I don't know
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older too
It could not have fit more perfectly with the theme of this post. And it leaves me wondering if I can sail through the changing ocean tides and if I can handle the seasons of my life. Most of my clients are experiencing the changing seasons of life and I love talking to them about it, but I wonder if the changes as we get older lead us to even more happiness or just a different kind of happiness. Will my moments with my grandchildren give me the same feelings that I have with my children? Will it be better, different, less than? It may just be more about living in the moment you’re in, rather than searching for what is gone from the past. It may even be different for everyone. When talking to clients and friends about these things some of the conversations are sad, some are very happy, but inevitably all of them are rooted in love, not money. That should be the takeaway here, love, not money, is what most people concern themselves with as they look back on their lives. I strive to live that way.
As I close this post, my son sits with me, coloring book and markers in hand and tells me that he doesn’t have a black marker. I ask, “What do you think I should do about it?” He responds, “Make a black marker.” I could only laugh out loud and remind myself that “I’m gonna miss this."