Today, I thought about an aspect of my life. I was watching a program about high school students that followed them through four years, and I noticed how often they said as seniors that they were looking forward to something ahead, to being done, to moving on. I realized how much I have done that myself. Whenever I came close to the end of something, I began looking toward the next phase of my life. In high school, I ignored too many of the chances to see friends at the end of school because I was heading off on a trip overseas for two weeks. When I left my first college, I quit trying to succeed and just did my best to pass so I could get to the summer job I had worked so hard to line up. When I was graduating from college, I spent a lot of time looking ahead towards my new life in the working world and didn't try to see my friends much, instead choosing to pack up and head off with my family for a simple lunch. When I was headed back to grad school, I moved up two weeks early just so I could get away from where I was to transition to where I was headed. At the end of grad school, I was planning a wedding, a cross-country move, and I was focused on finishing and going instead of being in the moment.
So often, I have missed the moment for the sake of whatever was next. Perhaps that is why I found myself so disconnected with some of my old classmates I had felt were friends, because I had already disengaged from my relationships with them before leaving school. Did they sense it? Did it even matter to most of them? Am I an outsider in my own life story, never more than a role player in someone else's? Am I so concerned with the future to never take pleasure in where I am now?
So many questions crossed my mind, all just from seeing a silly television show. And yet, those questions resonate in my mind. I do need to appreciate my life in the moment more. I do need to quit trying to get "there" as fast as possible, since "there" will forever be the carrot dangled before me. I need to stop and smell the roses. I probably need to start with my own family. I have a wonderful wife and children, and our lives are flying by. Have I missed some chance to bond with them because of my need to move forward? I hope not, but I cannot say. I just hope and pray I do better to find those moments and enjoy them from now on. I just have to take my foot off the gas a little more.