I can’t wait till I’m older and stay up past my bedtime.
I can’t wait till I’m older and have a later curfew.
I can’t wait till I’m older and be able to drive myself places.
I can’t wait till I’m older and be able to see “R” rated movies.
I can’t wait till I’m older and don’t have to go to school anymore.
I can’t wait till I’m older and able to buy cigarettes.
I can’t wait till I’m older and go to college.
I can’t wait till I’m older and be able to drink legally.
I can’t wait till I’m older and graduate from college.
I can’t wait till I’m older and have better experience for my career.
I can’t wait till I’m older and have enough money to go into my own business.
I can’t wait till I’m older and able to retire.
You know….I really wish I were younger.
I found myself lately thinking a lot about this. Through great reflection, I see now that the majority of the 40 years I have lived so far on this Earth were focused on something to come and something I didn’t have. What’s sad about that is the amount of things that I may missed experiencing fully because my eyes were always down the road instead of where my feet were planted below me.
There’s that old saying, “Stop and take the time to smell the roses.” Well it’s true. Unfortunately many don’t take the time to smell the roses or any flower for that matter. I’m using this phrase more metaphorically in this case as for most of my life until recently, I failed to see how many things God had placed so beautifully in my life because of my gaze being somewhere out into the future.
Today I look back and remember wonderful games of kick-the-can, hide-and-go-seek, and kick ball in my neighborhood until the last of the sun light was just about gone. I think about the ice cream truck coming down the street and me racing towards it to get a frozen bomb pop. I remember going to Myrtle Beach every summer and playing mini-golf, building sandcastles, swimming in the ocean, and having huge gooey sundaes. I have fond memories as well during college of pledging and helping build a chapter for my national fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi. There is a vast wealth of treasured thoughts about many parties I dj’d, sports I partook in, and social outings that I had a lot of fun doing during my undergrad years. In my post collegiate years, the same thing holds true with many things I can remember being a part of, doing, or going to, that bring a smile to my face. Unfortunately, I can also remember during all of them, that I was always partially present as I experienced each of them. One part of me was enjoying them and the other was thinking about something down the road that I wanted, didn’t have, or felt like I needed to be happier.
With all the health issues I’ve faced in the past few years and having been slowed down immensely from being able to do what I once could, I have caught myself wishing that I was younger again. I see how much I might have lost by not remaining in the moment and making the best of what I had all those years. Today I’m doing all that I can to be more present where my feet are like on my drive home from the gym today. I noticed how picturesque the clouds and blue sky behind them appeared. I took a deep breath in and thanked God for still having two eyes to see it.
No matter where I am in my life, no matter what state my health is in, and no matter what experiences I am having to go through, there is always something around me in every single moment that is God-given, amazing, and filled with light and love. I just have to remain in the moment and stop wishing for something that the future may or may not bring. If I can do that, I know I’ll never miss again experiencing for ALL its worth, another great moment of my life.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson