I’ve come to realize that most of us have the tendency to live in the future – we think about what we need to do sooner, later, or eventually. It starts from the time we’re young – we want to grow up, finish school, be independent, make money, get married, buy a house, have kids, and freedom 55. And as adults we subconsciously wish, probably on a daily basis, that we were healthier, wealthier, and happier. By mentally living in the future, we fail to be in the present and unfortunately, miss those defining moments of happiness around us. The other day, as I paused to give thanks for my breakfast, I realized how lucky I was to have a choice every morning of what to eat for breakfast. And in that moment, I was happy and grateful. Being in the moment + Being appreciative = Being happy.
I’m totally guilty of this. I’m so busy with ‘my life’; work, deadlines, plans, hopes and dreams. That I sometimes forget (or underestimate) to reach out to my parents in simple small ways I know would make their day – a phone call, a hug, a smile, a meal, a ride, a thank you note, a listening ear, a helping hand, or a unexpected visit. As they get older, I believe it’s the small acts of kindness that’ll touch their hearts rather than the once-in-a-while-big-events. My greatest hope is that my actions will always be motivated by love rather than by fear, expectations or guilt. In our parent’s season of change, may we honour them by expressing and showing how important they are to us today, and in the days to come.
“The loneliest people are the kindest.
The saddest people smile the brightest.
The most damaged people are the wisest.
All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.”
I thought of my dad when I read this quote as it describes him. Especially over the last few years of seeing him in physical discomfort and with increased loneliness of growing old. I’ve been told that you’ll never fully appreciate your parents until you have kids of your own or until they’re gone. I don’t want to wait until that day to fully appreciate and embrace them. As the holidays draw near, give the gift of time (and thanks) to your parents. It’s never too late or too early. Wishing you the best. Always.