Today I got one of those rare moments of driving by myself with no kiddos in the car. Always a treat! No disney DVD’s repeating the same catchy songs, thus– I got some “think tank” time. Times like this keep my mommy mush brain sharp and challenged enough to “do life” a bit better. Perhaps reading these thoughts will challenge you as well.
Since I’m running another race this Saturday I started to think about how I can possibly “beat my time” when I really haven’t trained much harder or had adequate time to prepare. My competitive nature never settles athletically and I feel I must always do better then last time (of course sometimes that doesn’t happen as planned). Anyways, I decided my race strategy is to going to be to run the entire way hard, leaving no excess “fuel” for the miles ahead. Simply put I’m banking on the amazing capability of the human body to perform when pushed within a reasonable distance! When I cross the finish line I hope to be completely out of “juice!”
I’ve read a few blogs and articles these past few months from moms encouraging other moms to cut themselves some slack. You know: Stop trying to be so accomplished, drop the comparisons and the facade of being supermom, and quit striving for perfection. The advice can sound an awful lot like: slow down the pace. As I read these well thought out and convincing arguments my heart is tempted to cheer, “Yeeesssss! Yessssssss!”
However, as I think about it more in depth— living my life as a mom, woman, Christian, and even human in a manner where I slow down the pace doesn’t seem all that wise! In fact, the thought actually irritates me. You see, I’m quite aware that each day only comes once. Tomorrow will never be here again. Each year with my children is a single shot opportunity. There are no pauses, rewinds or redos.
Many days I go through my various activities with the intention to not “overdo” it. Often my strategy is to stay within reasonable predictable limits and to keep my kids on an efficient routine. You know what? I’m often disappointed with these results. Sometimes once they are in bed– I wish I had spent a few more minutes asking them about their day at school. I wish I had read them a bonus book during story-time, shared a longer prayer, or simply just gave them an extra hug/kiss instead of rushing out of the room. I realize these seemingly trivial regrets in several years may very well turn into mountains of regrets.
I need to start living my individual days, weeks, and months without a fuel reserve. Whats the point of such a reserve? What am I saving that energy/time for? Is it worthwhile? Usually– it’s not. I make the foolish choice of trading good things in life for great opportunities!
I think I need to re-digest this wise advice to ensure that I am living life in such a way that is fulfilling. Psalms 144:4 says, “Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” In light of such truth I need to do constant readjusting not simply as a parent, but also as a Christian. In reality it should be my goal to run through the days of my life in a way that demonstrates I have maxxed out my energy, talents, passions and abilities to the fullest. However, it is essential I am aware that living in such a way doesn’t necessarily mean I will always set a personal record.
Maybe I’ll burn those cupcakes I attempted to bring to their school bake sale. Forget the birthday party who’s invitation stayed pinned to the fridge. Get stuck in traffic when I vowed to be on time. Attempt to control my tongue and still end up with regretful words. Sow seeds of kindness or blessings and never “see” a crop. But, I will have tried my best! The fulfillment isn’t in my finishing time, or my “place”– the fulfillment is in the fact that I know I gave it 110%.
The key to running without a reserve is the conviction that the temporary discomfort will be well worth it when I finish! I’m absolutely convinced of this. So— I will run through these days pushing myself to be a better person, momma and Christian. When I cross life’s finish line, my goal is to hear “well done!” However, it’s likely that when I finish– I may be too stinkin tired to hear anything! And, that’s perfectly okay with me!