"Those who dig won't fill their wig with all that blah, blah, blah." -Count Basie
When my oldest daughter was two years old we were in the produce aisle when she suddenly took off running between the rows of kiwis and blood oranges. My gut reaction was to stop her, despite the fact that, not being very fast at this age, she couldn't have covered much ground. The thing that stopped me was the sound of her laughter. She wasn't running for the sake of defiance or because some product placement strategist had trapped her in a toy web of dreams turned into cheap plastic crap. She was laughing because she was experiencing pure, untainted, unaffected joy. This kid was looking at her feet and laughing as she was running. She was letting her happiness flow with no concern for what others were thinking, when it was going to end, what the possible negative consequences might be, etc. She was running and laughing because she was enjoying it. (Don't be alarmed: she stopped eventually, with no harm to body or spirit.)
How often in our lives do we miss simple moments such as these due to some overarching, life-sucking thought that we allow to drain these times away from us? (Not that I would expect an adult to run down the produce aisle laughing- you'll end up on Youtube with no hope for ever
running for political office.) But, I'm thinking more along the lines of missing the simple things- like reading to your kids, enjoying a delicious meal, breathing in a sunset or listening to good music. These types of experiences won't take our problems away, but are we allowing our problems to take these times away from us? John Updike has a relevant quote here: "As a child I loved life so much that the thought of its ever ending cancelled most of the joy I should have taken in it." Can we take the time to enjoy life while it's happening without shirking our responsibilities? Are we overcomplicating our lives and forgetting to stop and breathe?
Guess what- the dishes will still be dirty when Hendrix is done...