The Days Are Evil – Balancing dreaming of tomorrow with seizing today

I believe that God made it physically impossible for anyone under the age of 30 to completely grasp how quickly time passes, and that you truly can’t go back and do it again. “There’s always tomorrow” is a comforting thought when contemplating making changes or “corrections” in our lives.  However, you don’t hear “There’s always yesterday” very often.  Yesterday is gone and it’s “read only”.

I just watched a very cool video (The Boys of Fall) in which Sean Payton, coach of the Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints, is in his old high school locker room addressing a team of high school players who are about to go out onto the field for the final game of their season.  He tells them, “27 years ago, I sat in this locker room just like you guys are, on a knee, getting ready to play a game.  I walked down the locker room – it still smells the same.  It takes you back real quick, but one of the things that caught me was how fast 27 years goes by.”  He then focuses on the Seniors, who are about to play their final game.  “…you Seniors that are focused on college, you’re focused on your work after high school, what you’re going to do next…  You’re focused on tomorrow, aren’t you?  You’ve got plenty of time for tomorrow.  But these ‘tonights’ are going by fast.  You focus on tonight.”

When we are young, we dream.  We dream of growing up.  We dream of “becoming” something we currently are not.  We are asked again and again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Dreaming is good, especially for a child.  At the same time, I wish that as a child I had the same appreciation that I now have for who and where I am right now.  I absolutely want my kids to dream about what they want to be.  But I also want them to be proud and excited about who they are.

My kids are 8, 8, and 9 years old.  They are smart.  They are creative.  They argue.  Their laughter fills me up.  They’re actually young enough that they’re not all that focused on tomorrow.  They’re focused on right now in the sense that “I’m bored” and “there’s nothing to do” are the most commonly heard phrases around the house.  And yet, there are kids, even at their ages, who are forced to “dream of tomorrow” and “appreciate each day” in an entirely different way.

Last night I watched an episode of Extreme Makeover – Home Edition in which a young girl with an incurable disease had raised thousands of dollars for Cancer research, inspiring countless others along the way.  Now, while I’m sure she had some help from an adult or two, she had to be the one who’s vision and voice inspired even those adults to help her get things going.  She was young too – 10 tops.  But her dream for tomorrow is simply to reach it.  Her dream for today is to do something to make the world a better place.

And so, it is sometimes hard to find a balance.  I want my kids to be kids.  I want them to run and play; ride a bike; dive onto a slip-and-slide in the yard; explore the world.  And yet, I want them to understand that even now, at their age, they should dream big not only for the future, but also for what they can accomplish today.  More than just the high score on a computer game.  More than brushing their teeth without having to be told.  If you can dream it, you can do it.

For many, “When you grow up” is synonymous with “When the fun stops and you have to get a job.”  How odd it is that we spend the first 20 years or so of our lives waiting to grow up, only to spend the rest of our lives wanting to go back.

Looking ahead is a necessary evil.  But if you are so focused on a goal set down the road ahead, then you can’t see the potholes right in front of you.  Be thankful for today.  It is a gift.  Don’t just make it through the day.  Make something happen.  Help someone else make it through the day.

Microsoft asked, “What do you want to do today?”  To me, that is just as important as what you want to be when you grow up.

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~ by suitenectar on August 10, 2010.

3 Responses to “The Days Are Evil – Balancing dreaming of tomorrow with seizing today”

  1. Awesome babe. You are right…tomorrow will come quick enough-live for the day and pay it forward! I love you.

  2. Great article! As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

  3. Definitely one of those things people always say they understand, but never take the time to think about. It shows that you’ve taken the time to think, which is always impressive in this day and age haha

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