Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life Stages

Some folks are always in a rush. Never content with what they have or where they are, they are always looking ahead and pushing toward the next thing. Sometimes they are in such a hurry that seasons of their life flicker in and flicker out, seemingly in an instant. A unique and special period to be savored and appreciated, but with their feet pushing the pedal flush to the floorboard, they seem oblivious to the movie of their lives playing out in fast forward just outside their window. But, this scene is typical for so many of us. It makes me think of the opening line from the old soap opera, "Like sands through the hourglass, these are the days of our lives."

It is interesting to me to consider the typical stages of our lives and the attitude with which we approach them. You might come up with a different list, but mine looks as follows:
  • Elementary school - young childhood
  • Middle school - developing our identities
  • High school/teenager - developing independence
  • Young adult - learning how to live on our own
  • Child rearing - passing on what we know
  • Work - productive years
  • Retirement - winding down
What is interesting to me is that, except for the final stage, retirement, we are so eager to get the other stages over with and get onto the next one. There things always seem so much better and more interesting. We are so manic in our looking ahead to the next stage that we oftentimes don't take in all that we could or should from the stage that we are in. Watching my daughter as she pushes so quickly to grow up, stirs memories of myself from so many years ago. Try as I might to learn to extract all of the life that I can from the period that I am in, I too tend to keep barreling ahead with my head down. Meanwhile, outside my window the movie plays on.