Today, I am thinking a lot about growth.
Often, I have trouble thinking of a topic to blog about. Most things seem too mundane, or boring, or personal. Sometimes, though, I am lucky enough to be inspired to write because of a moment that takes me by surprise.
Yesterday, I had a 15 minute window for lunch. It was a crazily busy day, and I knew I needed to rush home, throw a sandwich together, and return to my car before my next client meeting. Of course, I got stuck behind a school bus, which made at least 5 stops between the entrance of my neighborhood and my house. I tried hard not to be annoyed – there were children in the bus, after all – but I was so wrapped up in my own schedule and the clock that dictates it, and I became distracted. So distracted, in fact, I almost missed my blog topic, standing right in front of me.
While behind the bus, I looked at my side-view mirror and watched as a middle-aged man ran rapidly down the sidewalk. He was in jeans and not running clothes, so I wondered where he could be heading. When the bus made its fifth and final stop, the man stopped also, threw his hands up dramatically with a grin, and waited for the children to exit the bus. The last little girl stepped off, and she smiled toothlessly at the man. Her dad.
I now know three things for sure. One: that the man was racing the bus to make his daughter laugh. Two: that he probably raced it everyday because he looked so forward to her coming home from school. And three: that I felt oddly verklmept as I watched them walk hand-in-hand back to their home. I thought about it a lot that day, and made sure to hug my own Dad extra tight when I saw him next.
Someone wise once told me that time is the one commodity you can never get back. How true that is. Today, a year seems far. But next year becomes tomorrow so damn quickly.
Do you remember when our twenties seemed far off? Remember when our biggest problem was finding a cool lunchbox? And then finding a flattering haircut? And then finding the perfect prom date? And then finding the best college? But, that’s the thing about growth. The minute we hit its next stage, we instantly wish we got those problems back. We cannot appreciate the phase until it’s over. We cannot understand the lesson until we learn it.
So, all we can do, is try to be thankful. To value that today is the only time we will ever be this age during this month again. The truth is, we will never get our twenties back. Nor the simplicity of our childhood. But, sometimes, if we’re lucky, we’ll experience a moment that lets us re-live it. And when that happens, we can choose to reminisce on a time when all it took was Dad racing down the street to make life seem absolutely perfect.
(Happy 55th Birthday, Daddio.)