The Little Things
"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things." - Kurt Vonnegut
How many moments of our day do we live in future tense?
"Today after work I need to..."
"Tomorrow morning we have to..."
"Next week I'm going to..."
"When I get out of college, I'll...
"When I finally retire, I plan to..."
And so forth.
It seems like we live our lives in preparation for the next big thing, while completely ignoring the little moments that pass us by that seem insignificant, but will feel so precious later. Maybe it's your child who wants you to read them a story just as the big game is about to come on. Maybe it's your friend calling to have lunch just as you're getting ready to enjoy a lazy day off. Perhaps it's something as simple as the hectic drive home from school that could turn into some meaningful conversations if you'd just let it.
One day, the kids will be grown and gone, and you won't even remember the score of that "big game" that seemed so important at the time. Your parents will be gone and you'd give anything to have one more lunch with them. The drive home from school will be nothing more than a distant memory as you text your kids hoping to hear back from them.
Our days are filled with so many "little things". Even the five-minute conversation you have with friends after work could be such a precious memory to you later in life. I have a friend who once booked a television appearance on a major network based simply on a conversation he had with a stranger while they were waiting in line for an event. He stepped out of his comfort zone and just started talking to the person in line behind him to pass the time. They struck up a friendship and the guy went on to a great TV spot.
Now I'm not saying you have to talk to strangers in every line you wait in, but don't pass up the opportunity to establish a new friendship. Don't think that casual small talk you have with a friend over coffee is a wasted hour. Never consider a single moment you spend with your family as anything less than "time well spent".
When my sons were little, we used to take field trips together on Saturdays, just to spend time together. We went hiking sometimes, bowling, to a movie, or maybe just to the mall. Whatever it was, it was just to be together. I have no idea if they remember all those trips, but I have a lot of pictures of those moments to remember them by. Now, as both of them are grown and married, I walk by some of those old pictures we have hanging up and realize how that seemingly unimportant hiking trip was priceless to me now.
Every moment can be precious if you choose to treasure it.