Monday, August 10, 2009
Music and Meaning
We’ve established before that I’m a Nickelback fan, but I have to admit I’m loving one of their most recent songs, If Today Was Your Last Day. Now, the title pretty much says it all. This song opens with a friend giving some great advice: “Each day’s a gift and not a given right.”
I like the idea of living each day with purpose and meaning, but I find the practicality of it hard to grasp. You see, I’m a doer. I get bogged down most days in the minutae of family/home/work life. There are dishes to wash, kids to wash, laundry to… you get the picture. I like the list given in Tim McGraw’s Live Like You Were Dying: sky diving, bull riding, speaking sweeter, being a better husband and friend, going fishing, and stopping to watch an eagle overhead. These myriad ways of making life meaningful are simple and easy to grasp.
All last school year, I kept telling myself that each day, when my kids got home from school, we were going to sit down at the table and have a snack together. Talk about their days. Take a breather before the rush of homework, dinner, baths. But it never seemed to happen. Now, they had a snack every day, but I never got around to joining them because there was always something to do.
I find my To Do list often runs me, instead of the other way around. There is always more on there than I can accomplish in a day (or probably 2). And I feel guilty about that. I’ve tried to curb it, and I often can for a day or 2, before the urgency of a dozen tasks once again overruns me. I know, it’s a personality problem. :) At least I recognize my neurosis.
The 1 thing I love about the new school year is that feeling of newness, of resetting the clock and starting something over. I think we need that mid-year just as much as we do January 1st. This year, my world is changing, with both my kids being in elementary school for the first time. In addition to all those lovely writing goals I have, I am also revisiting my daily snack time goal. I really want to do this. I think it will give us a chance to reconnect after being away from each other, and find a touch of centeredness during our hectic days.
Do I wish I’d done this last year? Yes. Do I feel guilty that I didn’t? Yes. Should I let that stop me now? No. I can only live as if TODAY is my last day, not yesterday.
So aside from the nebulous ideals of forgiving enemies, embracing life, etc., what practical way would you like to enhance your life the rest of this year? What 1 simple thing would you embrace to give meaning to your life, in light of each day being a gift?