I remember hearing the song You’re Gonna Miss This by Trace Adkins for the first time when it was released in 2008, when my oldest daughter was four.
With a 4 year-old, 18-month old, and newborn, I was steeped in all things motherhood – homemade baby food, homemade playdough, and sky-high piles of laundry, and I felt accomplished if I actually made it out of my pajamas by noon. The clock felt like it stopped at 5:00 p.m. every day, and I was so tired I thought I’d barely make it to bedtime.
The song tracks a girl through various chapters of her life, and despite wanting to wish certain parts away, she’s reminded throughout….”You’re gonna miss this.”
The song resonated with me at a profound level and always steered me in the direction of making time for things that matter over the years.
Fast-forward 16 years to now and my oldest is going off to college in a few months.
One blustery Wednesday a few weeks ago I was holed up on my couch in such a groove writing content, and I had no plans of stopping. Until….she decided to come home from school for lunch. “Let’s go for a walk, Mom.” My initial thought was “I can’t.” And then I thought “Yes, you can. Four months from now, you’re gonna miss this.”
You can always make more money, but you can never get the time back. Don’t miss out on the precious, everyday memory-making moments with your loved ones, waiting for life to get easier.
Life is messy. Relationships are messy. Parenting is messy. Health is messy. Adulting is messy. But it’s all as beautiful as it is messy, if you take a good look around.
Embrace it all. Find the ease now. Find the peace now. Find it all in the midst of the stress and the mess and the chaos. It’s there, you just have to look harder.
Living in the moment – really embracing each phase of life that I was in, messiness and all, has been something that I’ve done with intentionality for decades now. It’s a practice and something that I still work at every day and I have conversations with myself all the time coaching me back into the moment….”It will be easier to travel when I can just get up and go” quickly turns into “You’re gonna miss making the kids their favorite foods when you come home from your trips.” Stuff like that. I’m constantly reminding myself of the things I’m going to miss, and I do more of that in the moment.
How about you? What stage of life are you in? If you fast forward 30 years what’s something that you’re going to miss?
Many of the execs I work with come to me feeling like they’re making huge sacrifices in the way of life experiences in exchange for reaching peak levels of success in the office. “I feel like I have no life.” “I can’t find the joy in life that I used to.” “I struggle with being fully present in whatever I’m doing” are just a few of the comments I’ve heard along these lines.
You can have it all. This isn’t a zero sum game. You can continue to be the high-performer that you are, and soak up all the joy each stage of life has to offer along the way.
You have to intentionally create the time and the space to do more of what you’re going to miss. Don’t sacrifice. Don’t wait. Don’t put things off. Engage in life now, and do more of what you’re going to miss.
What do you need to say “yes” to more often?
“You’re gonna miss this
You’re gonna want this back
You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re gonna miss this”