“Once I get that [insert item here] then I will be happy.” The item can be a promotion, a car, the new job, a degree, a new house, friends, or a significant other, but it tends to create a world that exists “out there” not the reality of today.
Not that dreaming about the future or setting goals are bad things, but if they distract you from enjoying your actual life, there can be a problem. The trouble is, life is a lot more routine than I ever expected, with small glimpses of excitement along the way. So, my mind tends to wander off and create a vision of how I would like life to be, not how it actually is on a day-to-day basis.
I am reminded about a time while preparing for a road trip with the kids, we needed to leave the house early in order to “be there on time.” I kept reminding them that it was time to leave, and how much fun it would be once we got there. It was at that moment my youngest daughter blurted out:
“But Daddy, I am not having fun right now!”
Suddenly, getting out the door was not the main goal. The thought of stressing out my kids in order to “have fun” in some future moment shook me back into the present reality. Enjoying the morning, the ride, the trip, and my kids became the new goal…and that is what we did.
Her words have become a reminder for me to live life now and not wait assuming that the fun will arrive later. At home, at the office, with relationships, or with goals (that can become nothing more than a way to escape my current situation), TODAY is our opportunity to do something real and not just dream about it. And if life has become merely rushing around assuming you will have FUN later, pause for a moment and find your way back to what matters, and live today.