Dancing in the parking lot

As I was dropping my daughter off at pre-school a few days back, she insisted she wanted to listen to one more song.

So, we turned the car’s audio system back on and listened to that one more song. While we were at it, we thought it was worth doing a small dance in the parking lot.

And, so, we did. It was awesome.

As we go through life, it becomes easy to lose the ability to capture moments like these. We can always find ourselves in a hurry – always rushed, always late. We can become inflexible. And, far too often, we can even find ourselves giving weight to what others around us would think.

I’d like to think of myself as someone who’d have done that jig in the parking lot at any time. But, it is likely that my ability to be open to such moments has gone up since I’ve become a parent. Kids couldn’t give a damn about destinations or what others around them think – they’re all about the journey and making the current moment count.

As a result, I’m learning to focus a lot more on the journey and the current moment than I used to.

And, I’m grateful for that.

What changes and what doesn’t

It was a Sunday evening. I had a yellow table lamp on and put on a beautiful series of songs on my speakers and sat on the couch.

I realized that there are many things that have changed in the last few years. But, at the same time, so many things just haven’t.

15 or so years ago, 100 of us went on a weekend school trip to an amusement park that specializes in water rides. I’d still rank the day spent in that park as among the best in my life. We just had an incredible amount of fun through the day. Just imagine 50 pre-teen boys darting around a water park. At the end of the day, I remember feeling really tired, sitting with a few close friends on the train back home and listening to a a couple of songs on our walkman (remember them?). That moment felt special.

I thought of the little things that have stayed special over these years.

Relaxing in the evening listening to great music. That’s special.
Add a great conversation with a few friends to the mix. That’s even better.
A trip with close friends. Just awesome.

Would this change if I had a few extra 0s on my bank account? Would this change if I achieved incredible professional success?

Absolutely not. Sure, money matters – I’m not debating that. But, beyond a point, there are all these things that either don’t require much money or just can’t be bought.

It helps to make sure we remind ourselves of what they are. And, to collect moments like these. It is easy to be caught up in our plans to do this and that in our lifetimes and to make sure we have no dearth of financial success.

But, in the end, it is these moments that are going to matter.. because, when we’re at an age when we have more money than we know what to do with, all that will really remain are those memories.