Since my daughter turned 1, our pediatrician told us to stop giving her bottles at night and to slowly phase them out during the day. I was immediately sad about the prospect of no more bottles because that’s an experience that I realized I would no longer get to have, something we had bonded over during the previous 12 months.
If you had asked me at 2am the night before if I wanted to get up to feed her though, I would have laughed at you and rolled over.
Tim Urban from Wait but Why details this exact feeling perfectly in his blog post called the Tail End. You need to read it. It completely opened up my eyes to the reality that life is fleeting and you’d better be savoring every last little bit of it, the good and the bad.
We get lost in our heads thinking about the drudgery of our lives, imagining some fantastic future where all of the hard stuff is removed and we’re left to a life of leisure. But that just isn’t how this all goes. The amazing stuff of life is everyday, mundane and seems bland in the moment. Feeding your baby, walking your dog, making dinner for your family, changing a diaper, going for a morning run.
This is the stuff lives are made of.
I think back to previous years and I didn’t know it then, but some of those common activities were some of my most memorable. Climbing a tree with my son, watching him walk down a forest path, digging into a big project at work. The vacations and and other moments that I expect to stay in my memory are the things that fade away, especially if they lacked any significance or memorable interaction.
It’s impossible to know what will be most memorable to you which is why it’s important to be as present as possible in your everyday life. You don’t know what aspect of your life today will seem magical to your future self.
Be in the moment — stay in the moment. You will never know what about today you will wish for again.