My friend had just ordered a second glass of wine. At lunch.
No second glass for me. It drove up the price of lunch and it was my turn to pay. The wine drinking at lunch was new. It seemed very evolved to me. We were so smart, so brilliant, so confident that we could drink at lunch and then go run an agency, fight poverty, attack racism, settle scores. So what if we were a titch in the bag, a wee titch, don’t you know. Just one glass.
So, out of the blue, my friend said to me, “You need to enjoy raising kids while you’re doing it because there’s s no assurance of a payoff, you know?”
And I agreed with him as I did in most matters because he was my mentor and very wise.
But I thought to myself, I’m aiming for a payoff. I’m working for results. I want my kids to be happy and successful. I want them to appreciate my hard work, pour a glass of wine for me in a wee glass, talk louder if they have to, gesture with their hands, protect me from harsh things. I want them to love me.
But he was right. None of this is guaranteed. You can drive those kids to soccer all day and all night, quiz them on their math facts and rehearse their lines in the play. Life will play out as it will. There is no control. Your fatigue with school meetings and doctor visits won’t buy you the cheapest glass of wine later.
It’s prickly and hard. But it’s the truth. That’s just the way it is.
Play the moment you’re in.