The new school year has arrived for many, and before you know it we will be running headlong into fall festivals, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And then the yearly cycle starts all over again. How is that even possible?
It doesn’t help that stores are already lugging out their cornucopia displays and swathing the shelves in shades of yellow, orange, and brown. Before you know it, we’ll all be singing Jingle Bells as we grocery shop. Lord, help us.
The older I get, the faster it seems that the seasons fly. So I propose that we all just take a moment to breathe it in. We seem to be in a perpetual cycle of wishing for what’s next in life, and often find ourselves challenged to appreciate right where we are.
Trust me, I get it. I’ve been a box checker my whole life. Rushing around to tackle the never ending projects, worrying about the details, and wondering what is next on my list. But the times that I feel pure joy are when I stop to be right in the moment. The everyday, less than glamorous moments. Those are the ones that speak to my soul.
Whether it’s looking around the farm and watching the animals, sitting with Cowboy on the porch and talking about our day, snuggling up on the sofa with my best fur-girl Maybelle, or getting a sweet phone call from beloved family and friends. Those are the moments I live for.
And no, the irony is not lost on me. We’re taught early and often to strive for something more, to shoot for the stars. And that’s not a bad thing. It helps us learn to be hard workers and diligent about our goals. But it also builds in us this sense that we will someday arrive, that things are not quite good enough yet. This is when all of those sayings about enjoying the journey come flooding back to me.
It’s also when I stop to take a lesson from the farm. The critters around here live in the moment. They don’t know any other way. Take the horses, for example. They mosey around the pasture, soaking up the sunshine, drinking cool water, and looking for any hint of fresh green they can nibble on. They are not thinking to themselves, “Gee, I wish it was next spring when the grasses are so much more plentiful.” Nope, they are sweating away, kicking up dust, enjoying being alive. It’s all they know how to do.
As we run around in this hot Texas sun getting ready for the rituals of back to school, one of the things I hear us Texans lamenting most right now is how hot it is and how we wish it was fall already. Well of course it is hot, it’s August in Texas. It’s sweaty and sticky and buggy. But you know what? It’s also the time for swimming holes, ice cream, and new school shoes. And I think those are all pretty great moments to breathe in.
P.S. – A version of this post was published in The Glen Rose Reporter. This farmgirl is delighted to serve as a community columnist.