My grade-school-age kids recently returned to school, which made me think about being a little kid again. Summer was always a time of unbridled joy and freedom for me. Even as a kid, I knew summer meant I had the freedom to get on my bike and ride to the nearby pool or meet up with my neighborhood friends for a game of street hockey because my schedule and routine were flexible. My biggest concern was whether or not I got a hit in my baseball game!
As we get older, those feelings start to change. We take on more responsibilities – summer jobs, summer school, and ultimately adulthood. Life speeds up quickly, and we don’t always do a good job of slowing down and living in the moment. We’re constantly thinking about what’s next and what we must do to keep everything moving forward. As Harry Chapin famously sang in Cat’s in the Cradle, “There are planes to catch and bills to pay.”
On a recent family vacation to Florida, I read a book by the former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Leading with the Heart. Coach K uses the metaphor of his team being on a train. He reminds readers that stopping and enjoying the moments while on the train is essential. Some of those moments are big milestones we plan and prepare for, while others happen unexpectedly.
So, as summer ends and we return to our busy lives of hauling kids to their various events, traveling, and everything else we have going on, I encourage each of you to take a moment to “pause at the station.” Whether things are improving or worse than anticipated, try to enjoy the moment. Enjoy the moment.
P.S. For those looking for some light humor, I recently created unique handshakes with each of my three boys (my daughter is a bit too young to have her own). Below is a video of my youngest son, Charlie, and me doing a clumsy version of our handshake on his first day of Kindergarten – certainly a major milestone in both of our lives!
*Apologies to long time client George Thomas for making a positive Duke reference. I hope you’ll forgive me.
**This is the same book featured prominently in the hit show The Bear (season 2).