Earlier this year, I wrote about time moving too fast ( you can find that post here ) and that was really emphasised to me earlier this week. A Facebook reminder popped up from 4 years ago, showing pictures of my daughter and I goofing about on a shopping trip. She was trying on shades and hats she wouldn’t normally choose whilst posing for the camera. I remember the day well and reminiscing about it made me smile. However, it also made me reflect on how quickly time appears to be passing. Whilst on shopping trips as a family, we used to mess about frequently, and the photos I have from those times always make me grin. Yet this also reminded me that those days will soon be gone. My daughter is hurtling headlong toward ending secondary school (during early summer next year) and will likely be heading off to college. Over the past couple of years or so, she has taken giant steps toward becoming an independent young lady and whilst that is fantastic, those old memories seem to fade further and further into the past.
There will be new memories, of course, but those exact moments in time, those moments of having a child thoroughly dependent on us as parents, will be gone. That will leave a huge hole in my life. I’ve always strived to ensure that my family live and grow in a safe, warm and laughter-filled environment. We have always laughed frequently, and continue to do so, and times like these make me happy, content, and grateful for the life I have. Those times more than compensate for the difficult periods in life and I value them dearly. But, someday in the not-too-distant future, my daughter will leave to start her own exciting journey in life, whether that’s heading off to university or finding a place of her own. I’ve already done the prep work and pre-warned my wife I’ll be like a bear with a sore head for a few days when that happens. I’ll also cry buckets – I know I will and really don’t mind admitting it.
You never fully appreciate this until you become a parent. Even then, there is a tendency to take these things for granted. Yet it is those seemingly normal everyday moments that mean so much, so please do make the most of them and don’t wait for a Facebook memory to remind you of the truly wonderful times. Take photos to keep as memories. Take a quite ridiculous number of photos, in fact. You can delete most of them if they’re rubbish though the likelihood is that it will be the seemingly innocuous moments which create those lifelong memories. Create a daily gratitude journal, or list one thing which makes you smile each day and ensure your family figure more often than not. This will prove to be a lovely record to revisit in future years.
Don’t lose these memories and please don’t underestimate the importance of them. Invest in your family, whilst remembering that time is a much more precious investment than money. If you are fortunate enough to have a toddler running around the house, or a school-age child or children, appreciate how utterly precious your hours / days / weeks / months / years are right now. You will not get them back so please don’t let them pass by without savouring every single moment.
As always, thanks for reading, stay safe, and please do try to be kind to others and to yourself.
Best wishes and take care.