Seize the day

With the current heat, it is hard to believe that summer is almost gone. Fall sports are starting soon, and classes will be right behind.

Where did the summer go? It went day by day, and I didn't catch all of those days. I let too many of them slip through my fingers, when all I had to do was close my hand and seize the day. Too much of this, and parents suddenly realize their daughters have gone from diapers to prom dresses, their sons from playing with toy cars to driving off to their own lives. One of my most sobering moments was when my young attention-seeking son asked, "Daddy, when is later?"

We are brought up to live the moment. A common phrase is, "If you make a mistake, it proves that you were at least doing something." An old song laments, "I should have asked her faster." We still cheer, "Go for it!" A newer phrase, at least for me, is, "Beg for forgiveness later, rather than ask for permission now."

I am not saying that anyone should "enjoy the here and now" with disregard for the consequences afterward. Partying too hard should lead to a hangover. Trying to kiss a girl with rude hastiness should lead to a resounding slap. But, not toasting a friend when the opportunity arises would be a missed opportunity. If you had not kissed your girlfriend years ago, she might not be your wife today. One of the saddest phrases is, "It might have been." Rita McIntyre has a older song entitled "The Greatest Man I Never Knew" about missed opportunities and missed showing of love from a father.

Ever notice your youngster asleep on the floor in front of the TV? They could have fallen asleep in your lap. Why listen to kids complain in the back seat when you can do a "Chinese fire drill" and run around the car once at a sleepy stop sign? When your wife complains that rolling down the car windows will mess her hair, suggest that sitting in the middle of the seat would get her away from the wind and actually next to you. Sit down to a slow breakfast with the family just to see the confused looks on their faces. With a world of potential re-runs, why sit like a zombie and watch TV? Have you ever seen a skinny person with a fat dog, no; such people actually do something with their pets. Volunteer for something and love it. Experts say that if you need to get something done, get a busy person to do it because they know how to find the time. I fear that I can waste time easier than use it.

Don't put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Boy, is that a stodgy old phrase; but, if you wait until tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. Did you know that a large percentage of divorces come after the children move away? The busy couple didn't seize the day to continue to know each other. Hold your spouse's hand today.

Many decades from now when I look back on my life, I will probably have some regrets. I hope they are for the things that I did, rather than the things I did not do.