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?



Problem Child said...

So I don't have to forgive my enemies? Awesome. I wasn't planning on doing that anyway.

I'm trying to make time to do that mediation program I paid big bucks for. I either forget until I'm in bed for the night, or I realize I just don't have the time to sit still and meditate. I know it will be good for me in the long run -- and enhance my life -- but I'm having a hard time getting into the habit.

New school year - new schedule. I'm hopeful...

Smarty Pants said...

It's too early for me to be meaningful. I'll check back in later. :)

Problem Child said...

Meditation, not mediation.

Sheesh. Can't type.

Can y'all see me mediating anything? Snort.

Angel said...

I seriously want to try out that meditation program. Get on it so we'll know if its worth the big bucks! :)

School started today and I took both the kids, even though Little Man doesn't start until tomorrow. We took Drama Queen (who was quite nervous) and settled her in her room before we walked down and looked where LM's would be. I have to admit, anxiety kicked in. Will he be able to find his classroom on his own? Will he be able to open everything for lunch? On and on... I swear. This isn't fun. I thought I'd be fine because I'm not upset that he's starting school, but the worry thing is kicking my butt at the moment. And he doesn't even go until tomorrow!!!


Playground Monitor said...

Simplify. That's becoming my credo. Life's too short to worry about junk and too short to dust it too. I'm trying to declutter.

I've loved Tim McGraw's song since the first time I heard it. I've spent an extra week at my mom's house because I could and because I just don't get to spend enough time with her. It was great fun going to her family reunion and meeting some cousins I'd never met before. And she and I have watched movies and just talked a lot.

Little Man will be just fine. Someone will help him open things and get to his classroom. I had those same worries when my boys started school and they managed to succeed in spite of me.

Instigator said...

Angel, I'm glad I'm not the only one. I thought this morning was going to be a breeze...I was a basket case. Seriously, I don't think I'll be good for anything today until I've picked them both up and I know their first day was okay.

I'm with SP, it's too early and I'm too emotionally drained to be meaningful. :-)

And PC, I was wondering what you were mediating...


LeaAnnS said...

My goal this fall is to find time for other things besides work. I love my new editing job, but working from home means I can (and often do) work all the time. Since I love reading and get immersed in a world once I'm in it, it is hard for me to come out of that world (whatever project I'm involved with) and focus on the kids or the house or my husband. I have to remember that those things are important and, like any good book, the story will still be there once everyone else has had some time and attention. Yes, I'm lucky to have a husband that will help to protect my time when I NEED to work, but I shouldn't take advantage of that simply because I WANT to be working. :) So that's my goal - get my head out of the story and into the moment, especially with my kids. I hope that the "new" schedule of being back in school will help me work more during the day and focus on the kids some when they get home. You know, snack time sounds like a good idea!

Kelly Moran said...

great blog. we're fb friends. i'm following you now. you should pop in/follow mine. i have all things books...
nice seeing you.

Liza said...

I think sharing a snack after school with your kids is awesome. My grandfather always picked us up from school when I was younger. One of my fondest memories of him to this day is his little red VW bug with the Kit-Kat and the quarters that were always waiting for us in the glovebox or his shirt pocket. Of course as we got older the quarters turned into dollars, but the Kit-Kats never changed.

Angel said...

Well, I'm happy to report we started our snack tradition today. I enjoyed it very much and hope to make it permanent. You know what they say... 21 days and something becomes a habit.