The other day, at Sam's, I was looking for something to read and picked up this book (Front Porch Princess by Kathryn Springer) because I liked the title and the cover. I'm shallow that way. ;-)
A chapter in, I realized several things. Namely, that this WASN'T a trashy romance, nor was it the conventional, fluffy chick-lit I was used to reading. This was Christian chick-lit with a message. Because I have a hard time putting a well-written book down, and because the story grabbed me from the start, I continued reading, waiting for something "preachy" or off-putting.
Instead, I got a few lessons about life, and about myself.
One passage in the book particularly spoke to me. It was a brief Sunday School Lesson where the leader held up a remote control. She (and I'm paraphrasing here) brought up that it is human tendency to focus too much on the rewind and fast forward buttons, either focusing on the past and holding onto the "what if" feelings and holding onto anger, frustration, and regret OR focusing too much on the future as in "here's what I will do at some point" or "once this happens, then I'll be happy." The point is that we spend so much time either looking back or looking ahead that we don't focus on the moment at hand. Instead of looking around us and counting our blessings, we're kicking ourselves over our past mistakes or waiting for some big thing to happen that will suddenly make our lives better.
I'm guilty. Not all the time, but I'm guilty of some of that. I have so much to be thankful for in my life and in each moment, but I hold grudges. I hold onto past hurts and anger. I hold onto it much like my 3 year old holds onto his toy elephant when he sleeps at night. Or I think to myself, once I get that raise, or if we won the lottery, or if I get this new job, then everything will be perfect. Let's face it. Nothing is perfect. And by looking at things the way I have been for such a long time, the beautiful moments that I am blessed with every day get glossed over or ignored. I'm tired of that.
It doesn't matter what past hurts or poor decisions have occured in the past. If steps were taken to make amends, then that stuff simply doesn't matter. And life isn't perfect. More money or a different job might make some things easier, but you shouldn't let that affect how content you are with today. And I *am* content. I love my family. I love my life. And I'm removing the rewind and fast forward buttons on my personal remote control and focusing on "play" (figuratively and literally). What I know to be true... Yesterday happened and cannot be changed, tomorrow is inevitable and uncertain, but I'm here now and today is the day I can make new memories and touch a life (be it a stranger's, my son's, my husband's, or my own).