Toddlers, Velociraptors & Left-overs

 

Life is much too short, for certain. I would like to encourage you today to not miss even one smile or a giggle.

My vow is to take life one day at a time, and I fully realize this sounds cliché, but it’s all I can wrap my head around, after decades of struggling and hurting and crying (in case you missed it by the blog title, I deal with chronic pain, which can, if left alone, drive a person to literal madness).

“One day at a time” for me is “living in the moment,” which seems to contradict what I’m supposed to do as a Christian—“keep my eyes on eternity” and “don’t worry about tomorrow” and all that—but let me explain. Just as I was writing this, a co-worker came by my office and asked a question. I could’ve sloughed her off with a simple, “I’m not sure,” but I got up, came out from around my desk, smiled, and talked to her for about a minute and a half. She’s an older, retired missionary, and has a wonderfully sweet spirit. It would’ve been easier to give a quick reply and keep typing, for sure, but she deserves better, and it cost me less than two minutes.

I was “living in the moment” last night when my son, Trey, and I got out around supper time in the chilly rain to go to the gas station and get a Gatorade for his school lunch today. Neither my wife nor I had felt very well yesterday, and I knew she didn’t feel like cooking (even though she hadn’t said anything about it). So when Trey and I got out, we surprised her by bringing back a couple of cheap, take-out pizzas for supper. I even threw her off the scent by telling Trey to send her a text, explaining I had to go to a different gas station because the first was out of Gatorade (so she wouldn’t wonder why we were gone so long). I love surprises, and even small ones can absolutely make someone’s day. Didn’t cost much, put a considerable smile on my wife’s face, and none of us had to cook.

I’m not bragging about all this, by the way. It’s just that I don’t get out much, and the best examples I can give you are from my own life.

“Living in the moment” means putting my stupid phone down (sorry, that’s a pet peeve of mine, even though I still struggle with it) when someone is trying to talk to me. One day my adorable, toddler grandson was trying to get the attention of someone in the family, and in looking around, in addition to myself, I noticed my wife, my daughter (his mama) and my son were all on our phones. We had just gotten home and were all getting caught up on Facebook notifications and emails and whatnot, but my grandson didn’t know that. All he knew is he had something vitally important to bring to our attention about velociraptors, and nobody was listening. I put my phone back in my pocket, told him to come sit on my lap, and say what he needed to say. After hearing the news—which included an amazing impersonation of the creature—I also tickled him a minute and got to hear his charming giggle, which always puts a smile on my face.

I’ve seen my wife and daughter do this a hundred times, and I figured it’s high time I follow suit. After all, my family deserves my first fruits, not my left-overs.

That’s what I mean by “living in the moment.” Make the most of every second, because we don’t know how many more we have.

I’m gonna try to be cool.

Be cool to my lovely wife and rub her feet, even when I’m in chronic pain and exhausted. Be cool to Trey and watch those goofy, 28-second videos on YouTube he always wants me to watch, even when I want to do nothing more than crawl under the covers and hide from the world. Be cool to my co-workers, even when I’m busy. Be cool to my grandson, put my phone down and listen to his dinosaur stories, with the full understanding that life will not, in fact, crumble to dust around me if I miss putting a “like” on a friend’s cat video.

Just be cool, and joy will take care of itself.

Life is amazing, so don’t close your eyes even for a second; you might miss something!

2 thoughts on “Toddlers, Velociraptors & Left-overs

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