A friend sent me a link to an interesting column in the Sturgis Journal. It’s a column on life and marriage called “Marriage Matters” by James Burg, Ph.D. an associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue and his wife Audora, a writer. My friend, who lives in Sturgis, thought it was sweet and that I would appreciate the message. It was and I did and I think you will, too.
Apparently, it’s been a rough year for Burg and his wife, with a problem pregnancy, a new baby, the loss of a friend to cancer and the scary cancer battle of a close relative. The column was spurred, though, by wife Audora’s birthday and the meaning of celebrating things like anniversaries and birthdays. What Burg asks in the beginning of the piece is,
“When we celebrate anniversaries of marriage or birth, are we celebrating what has passed, or anticipating what is yet to be?”
Good question, and a thought-provoking one. Sometimes we get so caught up in the stresses of each day that we forget to actually live the day itself. How many days of last week do you actually remember? Do any of them stand out in your memory? How about a moment in your marriage from last week? Do any of those stand out?
As Burg writes, we shouldn’t wait until an anniversary of something to celebrate and appreciate it.
And we know well that life is only available to be lived in the present tense, the right now, but somehow, we either keep forgetting that, or we get greedy: we not only want it all, we want a guarantee that we will have it. Not only that, that we will have it in the way we want it.”
To me, that sounds an awful lot like most of us living our modern, hectic, achievement-oriented lives. We spend so much time planning and striving that we forget to appreciate what we already have.
Time goes so quickly and it seems to speed up as we age. I challenge you to do two things today:
1) Seize just one moment and appreciate it. The sound of kids playing in the sprinklers next door, a hug from your own child or even just an unexpected breeze. Whatever it is, for a few minutes just enjoy it and allow it to be your focus.
2) Focus on one thing that you really appreciate about your marriage or your spouse and then tell them about it. Even if it’s a crazy day, a bad day or an awful day. At some point today, remember and celebrate one thing that’s good right now.
Burg ends his article by saying,
With eyes properly focused, we see amazing pockets of grace: a strong marriage, four beautiful children, a supportive family and wonderful friends. So the question at the start needs to be revised: rather than celebrating what has passed, or anticipating what is yet to be, are we appreciating what is right now?”
I’m really appreciating the friend who sent me the link.