"Be sure to enjoy the moment."
That is the main piece of advice I give to the bride and groom during premarital counseling. I repeat it often; sprinkled in between the conversations about running finances, how they/their families argue, future plans and ceremony planning.
I remember what it was like as a young, excited bride to get to the other side of a long, very planned out day and hardly remember any of it. We had done so much of it ourselves that once one thing was going without a hitch my mind was moving on to the next thing. As more and more young brides and grooms come to me with their self-made checklists, I remind them that on the 'day of' all that matters is the moment they are in, everything else that's really important will fall into place.
As my friend once said about advice she was giving ("Here. Take it. I'm not using it,") living in the moment is advice I am free to give because I'm not using it.
Although, I am getting better at it.
I have one child and I know that time has and will continue to fly by. And so even if I am looking forward to something in the future I try not to rush the days I am in away. We are heading to the beach at the end of July. As you can tell from a previous post that is a very good thing for me - but there is no countdown on my calendar. There will be no status update from me saying "...cannot wait to go to the beach." I can wait. It will get here soon enough and with that time gone by towards our beach trip will also be 20 less days of my son being 5.
Where I've struggled with 'living in the moment' is when I am in the moment and I don't want it to end.
Once while playing with my childhood BFF we decided that our play time always went too quickly. We had heard that 'time flies when you're having fun' so why not when we were together just not have fun, then our time together would seem longer. Who knows how long we lasted with one of us coloring on one side of the basement while the other one did something on the other, before we both realized that was a silly game and it was better to be together and just have fun.
Enjoy the moment.
Recently guests came to stay in our home and it was fun and lovely and hilarious and good. I like having people here. I tend to compartmentalize my life, and I admittedly allow work to be a HUGE compartment. I don't communicate well with friends and family when they are away from me. But when they are in this space, those boundaries are forced open and for those moments home and happiness is all wrapped into one.
Occasionally in those moments I begin to think ahead to when it will be time to say, "see you later." The effect is something like the moment when Christopher Reeve looks at the penny in Somewhere in Time. In the movie he manages to travel back in time to 1912 to be with the woman he loves. When he reaches his hand into his pocket and pulls out a penny from 1980 it immediately catapults him away from her and back to contemporary time. I think I saw the movie the first time when I was in my mid-teens and even at my cynical, tom-boyish best I knew that was heartbreaking.
How silly to be with people and already begin the process of missing them.
During this most recent visit of friends and family I was more conscious of when I was doing that and tried to keep myself in the moment. Part of that is forcibly stopping the mind from wandering. A more important part of that is trusting the future that God has in store for them and for me and abiding in the Spirit's presence in this moment and now this one and this one...
confident that in God's place and in God's time everything will fall into place.