You are busy. I know. It’s the story of most of our lives. Working to provide for our families. Trying to make ends meet and acquiring all of that stuff we think is a necessity. Let’s pause a moment and reflect on what we are giving up in the process: the precious memories we fail to create with our children.
Fellow blogger, Brandi of Mama Knows It All recently shared her “ah-ha” moment of being there for her daughter. As we grow older we begin to place less emphasis on acquiring and more on reflection. We begin to truly take notice of all of our accomplishments as well as the regrets.
Let’s take a moment and put ourselves into the future when it becomes our time of reflection. Imagine a time where your children have grown into respectable adults and are raising families of their own. Reflect on all the time that has passed of your childrens’ lives that you will never have a single chance to see again in person.
As you imagine yourself into this position, begin to think all of the stuff you have acquired. The accolades, the certificates, the speaking engagements, the big screen TV, fancy cars, elaborate vacations, etc. Take notice of all the feelings this stuff gives you. Think about all of that stuff but without a single memory of your children. How would you feel? Would you feel as if you had regrets of NOT creating memories of your children? Wouldn’t these regrets be a bit painful to have knowing there is nothing you can do to change the past?
Now imagine yourself without all of that that stuff. Just thinking of memories of your children in their early years – nothing else. Think of all of the simple things that moved you emotionally and the time spent with them. Take notice of all the feelings these beautiful memories give you. Look at their faces, their smiles, and their actions as you see them growing through the years. How much stronger are your feelings now? Would you feel any regrets NOT having stuff? Wouldn’t these regrets seem rather insignificant compared those warm memories you have made?
The photo below is from our annual family gathering at the beach this month – I almost didn’t go. Why? A few reasons – one of them being I had numerous engagements that would have been profitable to attend. I had to make a choice. Of course, I chose to go and spending the afternoon at the beach I grew up on with my kiddos was priceless. My youngest son really let himself go and enjoyed jumping the waves with his big cousins – something he’s never done before out of fear.
I’m not saying that anytime you have to choose you’ll have to choose family over professional responsibilities. I’m saying to take the time to truly balance those choices. For years, I was a self-proclaimed workaholic and proud of it. I was a single mother and driven by the need to make sure my son and I were financially secure. It hit me when I worked the third Christmas in a row that things needed to change. The final straw was when I missed the annual family gathering right before my grandmother passed away. I had never felt so empty and out of touch. I slowly began making changes and putting things in place to truly enjoy life and making memories and not just a nest egg.
By imagining yourself in the future reflecting on life you can get a glimpse of what really matters most. Again, I am not saying it is wrong to acquire possessions, rather I am saying not to get too caught up into it that you lose sight of some of the things that are more important in life – memories. These memories are yours to keep and will fulfill your life now and into the future more than any possession can. Think about all that stuff you acquired that ended up in the trash or you no longer use? More than likely if you think about that stuff now you will realize that the emotional impact they once created no longer has the same effect. A memory of your child has just as much impact as it did when the memory was created. And it LASTS throughout your life as you look back upon them from time to time.
Remember, also, that the memories you create with your children are their memories, too. They get to carry them through their life. They get to reflect upon those times with you or the lack of. They will use them as references throughout their lives in which they will base their future actions upon. Keep this in mind as you consider making changes in your lifestyle to spend more emphasis creating memories and less on acquiring temporary stuff.
Divas, what I am saying is….
Sometimes you need to evaluate your position in life. Many times we spend so much time acquiring things. Spending our money and dragging ourselves into needless debt to where we are FORCING ourselves to make ends meet. Keeping ourselves at our jobs late sacrificing the little time we do have here on earth for the things things that end up being less important. Yes, we have to provide for our families. Just make sure we are not sacrificing those precious memories to accumulate more stuff when we can enjoy one another with what we already have.