There is more to do than there are hours in the day.
It’s just a fact.
We’ve all had moments of when-will-I-cram-that-yoga-time (which more often than not ends up instead at the freezer door with a large spoon headed for the chocolate ice cream).
Ever stop and wonder: Is this all there is?
We think that if it is, we may as well just throw in the towel. There has to be more to life than this.
To help combat that heavy feeling and give us the energy to keep driving through the day we place benchmarks ahead of us, things that we are working towards, things that we will “get to” after the hard work of today – the reward for all the work.
Something that makes it all worth it.
An Alaskan cruise.
A promotion at work with a better office and benefits.
Losing 15 pounds, and not finding them again.
A visit to the Hair Club for Men to restore the curly blond locks of 30 years ago.
What if, however, today is all there is?
What if an Alaskan cruise never happens? What if we never get that job that will make everything so much better?
So, each night as we lay our weary body down and stare momentarily through the dark at the ceiling and think back on the day, it’s important to ask ourselves if it is enough?
Is the culmination of all our yesterdays into the lump that is today enough?
We can probably grudgingly admit that we would survive without having these dreams come true. In the big picture they really aren’t that big of a deal. After all, bald is beautiful, right?
But what if the benchmarks in front of us are more than distractions from the monotony of daily life? Benchmarks that really matter in the big picture? Benchmarks where we find ourselves holding our breath and clinging desperately to until they resolve?
A sick child to finally get well.
A wandering spouse to beg forgiveness and become faithful again.
A rebellious family member to understand enough to change direction and choose a better way.
An incurable disease to have some sort of relief and cessation of pain.
These hit harder. Instead of surface irritations these benchmarks cut down close to the bone. And the pain is so acute, so intense, that it becomes all we think about, all we spend our time on, all we are.
They consume and dwarf everything else in our lives. Not much else seems to matter.
But what if that rebel doesn’t change his or her ways?
What if that spouse keeps wandering right out of our life?
What if our child doesn’t get well?
What if we are still alone?
Then when we lay our weary body down at the end of the day and stare momentarily up through the dark at the ceiling and think back on the day, and ask is it enough, do we simply burst into tears and shake our heads?
Because it is a big deal. If these benchmarks don’t happen, the consequences matter. Really matter.
So, what are our options?
We can pound the mattress and cry out, wanting with all our might the one thing that we have no personal control over. As it consumes us, nothing else can make up for it. Nothing else brings us any satisfaction, because there cannot be any happiness without that one thing being real in our life. The one thing we can’t make happen.
We can take a deep breath, try to relax our body, and slowly look for and find things that were good today. Small things. Insignificant things. Silly things really.
Maybe something as small and silly as a funny post on Facebook that made us laugh out loud, if even for just a moment.
Slowly, over time, we begin to feel a change. A change that is personal and individual. A change deep within our spirits.
And we realize that if this is all there is, if this is what life has handed us and there won’t be any more, that it is, in fact, enough.
The more we understand and see what was blocked from view by our One Big Thing, we actually know deep within that it is more than enough.
Because it is good.
We can see it now. The good is more visible and bright; the difficult more blurry and faded.
The culmination of all our yesterdays into the lump that is today bursts with sweet, quiet, positive memories that have changed us.
You know what comes next: now, instead of focusing only on finding the good for ourselves, we become someone who seeks to help create good moments for others to find in gratitude.
We have changed.
The funny thing about learning how to be happy with today is that it helps change tomorrow.
We no longer ask “Is this all there is”; rather, we marvel at how much has been there all along, that we haven’t seen.
Humbly, we give thanks that it is truly more than enough.