When I graduated from high school in the mid-70s, our class motto was, “Live only for today because yesterday is but a memory and tomorrow is only a dream.”
That all sounded great at the time, but that was long before I had three children. When I became a mom, I realized my todays no longer included going out on Friday night with friends, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, and sleeping in as late as I wanted to. I traded that for days of running to doctor appointments, carpooling to soccer practice, spending my money on “Happy Meals” and staying up late to wash the mud tracks off the kitchen floor.
There were days my attitude wasn’t what it should have been, but I knew I couldn’t toss in the towel and quit. I tried to look ahead to tomorrow and remember that someday my efforts would pay off. I remember well the day each of my children were born, hearing their first word and being given fat juicy kisses from faces smudged with chocolate chip cookies.
On cold winter days, when I looked at their red cheeks and runny noses, I tried not to see all the laundry I was going to have to do and the mess of melted snow I would have to clean up. Instead I tried to see it as piling up stones of remembrance between brothers and sisters that would bond them together and help them carry each other through life.
Three kids arguing over who got to sit in the front seat, water fights in the bathroom, and putting away all the blankets after a sleepover in homemade “tents” in the living room sometimes tried my patience, but I put up with it. I knew what value these children would be to each other in the future. Rivals for my time and attention back then, I prayed that they would be each other’s best friends and closest allies later on. I knew that “tomorrow” whenever it came and I was no longer around to care for them, they would have each other.
It might have been easier financially and emotionally if I had lived only for ‘today,’ but I am so glad I didn’t. As they were growing up, I was investing in tomorrow! And I wouldn’t change a thing!
Are you living for today or investing in tomorrow?