It’s been a week of milestones over at the Zeigler house. During the last 4 days, my oldest daughter Astrid, got on a school bus and went to kindergarten for the first time. Yesterday will undoubtedly be a day I’ll never forget. She walked right up onto the bus filled with courage with a smile on her face ready for her new adventure. I was certain that moment would be filled with tears (myself included) but it turned out to be a very happy morning for everyone involved. When she got home she told Kendall that she had a great day. That she even made a couple of new friends (Sophie and Laeh). She told her Mom that she went to an art class, got to play outside twice, and that she got to play a fun word game. All in all, it sounded like a great. Then, last night, she told us that she cried a little bit on the bus and also when she was walking into the school. I wish one of had been able to be there to make her feel better, but that wasn’t possible. I’m happy that she was able to get past her nervousness/sadness and still have a great day. It’s only been two days, but the people at Wilder-Waite Elementary School seem top notch. I believe Astrid will love kindergarten and I’m excited to hear about all the stuff she learns over the course of the school year.
Now, onto milestone two.
My second oldest daughter, Murphy, turned four today. Well, technically not until around 5:30pm, but let’s not get ticky tack here. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years already. I’m unable to put into words how fast time has gone since she was born. We all know that life moves pretty fast (hat tip to Ferris Bueller) and also that there’s not much we can do about it. Only one more year until she’s getting on that same bus heading to kindergarten, with her sister on the same bus, but going to 1st grade instead.
My goal for today is to celebrate this lady, rather than get caught up in all the daily noise (emails, financial news, corporate earnings reports, Chinese tariffs, political nonsense) that can sometimes consume my daily life. Murphy Lou is a sweet, goofy, funny, animal loving outgoing little person who deserves a day of celebration. She’s been a total blessing to our family and I’m thankful that we get to be her parents.
Why am I sharing this? A few reasons.
First off, is this not what life is all about? When we’re 95 years old and nearing the end, it’s events such as these that we will most likely remember and think about. We’re not going to remember (or care) about what the S&P500 returned in 2018, or any year for that matter. We’re not going to remember what Trump tweeted about whomever on a random Thursday. We’re not going to think about the neighborhood or workplace gossip.
We’re going to remember the birthdays, the first days of school, and the special moments we get to spend with our kids, family and friends. It’s these kinds of weeks that we’re going to be thinking about when we’re on the tail end of our lives.
Secondly, (I write about this in my upcoming book 28 Things. Life Lessons From A Guy Who’s Nearly Over The Hill) the treadmill of life doesn’t stop. It’s days like this that I want to get off life’s figurative treadmill and spend some extra time with the people who are most important to me. You only turn four once. You only have one ‘first day of kindergarten.’ If you’re not there to take part in it, you’re going to miss it. I don’t want to miss these moments because we can’t rewind time. If we miss it, we can’t get it back.
Look, we can’t slow time down. Sometimes I wish I could, other times, not so much. The only thing we can do is be present and enjoy these moments as much as we’re able. That’s all any of us can do. The only weapon we have against time is to be present and enjoy what’s going on right now.
I want to use that weapon more often. That’s a goal of mine. I hope I’m able to remember that weapon exists on days like yesterday and today, when it’s truly needed.