Last week I talked to my great-nephew, who is almost seven years old. We chatted about his new favorite book that he can read all by himself. I was encouraging and very happy that he was on the road to becoming an appreciator of written language and literature. As our little discussion progressed he compared himself to his classmates and kind of bragged about how they were not reading books as difficult as his favorite Dr. Seuss. His joy was more about feeling superior to his classmates than it was about his new love of books. That made me sad.
I decided it wasn’t my place to tell him it wasn’t a contest and that it should be enough that he enjoyed the book and was proud of his ability to read it on his own. I know that lots of people much older than him who measure their success compared to their peers. He wouldn’t understand, he is still six, but I wanted to be able to make him comprehend that he only gets to be six for a few more weeks. When his seventh birthday rolls around six will be forever gone. If he lives to be 100, he will never again get to soak up the joy, wonder and sorrow of being six.
At 58 years old, I don’t have the excuse of being too young to understand. I may never see 59 or I may run the Boston Marathon just before my 100th birthday, but when 58 is gone, it is gone forever. Whatever today brings, it is the new normal for today.
I want to remember that waiting for the election to come and go, a vaccine for covid-19, or whatever, robs me of today’s normal. Yeah, today may not be great, it might even suck, but I only get this day, this year, this life, one time. I probably can’t explain it to my great nephew but I think I get it. No matter what happens the rest of the day, or tomorrow, it is the new normal. We can stop waiting.
Thanks for reading, be blessed, rejoice, and suck every drop of juice out of this day. Savor it and be glad.