I never like it when a lecture directed at one of my children ends up condemning myself, but that is exactly what happened to me this week. One of my kids hit a particularly rough patch at school and was falling further behind. In the midst of a lecture about being disciplined, getting homework done, and staying on top of projects, a question was posed that I can’t stop thinking about:
When is the last time you wanted to do something really, really well? When is the last time you didn’t just want to slide by, get through the day?
Me? I’ve always lived by a motto of "good enough". If I could expend X amount of energy and get good enough results, why in the world would I bother wasting more energy when good enough got the job done.
Well, that motto got me through high school with a 3.8 grade average (Imagine what I could have done should I have really put my all into it). It helped me survive several mind-numbing jobs right out of high school. But it has kicked me in the bahonkus when it comes to dieting. Good enough and sliding by and not words that are part of a successful diet. And the truth is, when life got hard, I really did start living by the "get through the day" progam (a very slackerized version of Dr. Laura’s Take on the Day motto).
When you stay at home all day, and the most intelligent conversation you have is with a two year old and consists of a litany of stop-that’s, it can get really easy to fall into hunker down mode and just get through the day. Babies have a way of making that an all-day challenge. But it can also become an excuse to stop really, really living. It can get far too easy to stop caring about what to wear, whether to exercise and what to eat. That poor little lonely woman inside can easily justify a new batch of chocolate chip cookies as a day-long project or a marathon of youtube watching as a useful expenditure of a day.
But is that really, really living? No. It’s waiting for someone to come rescue us from a bad situation or a lonely one or a boring one. It’s waiting for someone else to tell us to take control of our life and live it for all it’s worth.
Well, I now have a new motto. It’s I’m going to really, really live… just for today. And some days, on a really bad day, that may include a chocolate chip cookie baking marathon, but it won’t be a way of life. It will be because my kids are home and cookies are required for some wonderful event we plan to share. Food will not be an event. It will be a part of life. Because really, really living is about a lot more than a chocolate chip cookie.
I’ll keep you posted about how I begin to really, really live. And I’d love to hear from you. How do you plan to really, really live … just for today?