Lately, I have been living my life either five minutes ahead or five minutes behind where I ought to be. It's like I am either rushing too fast or moving too slow. In all, I am not thinking/living in the moment like I feel I should be -- that is, if I was living up to my best, ideal self. And when I sat down to really contemplate this thought, I came up with eight random things I wished I had known about five minutes before/after they happened. Here they are for your reading pleasure:
1. That bag of dirty laundry that I left at my lovely friend's house in N.J.- wished I had known it was sitting there in her man cave- five minutes before we left (instead of ten hours later). #nicepartinggift
2. That curb that I sideswiped while backing out of my sister-in-law's driveway (causing Husband to curl up into the fetal position)- wished I had thought about it five minutes before getting behind the wheel. #soyouthinkyoucandrivebaby
3. Those three fish tacos I ate at the Ground Round- wished I had looked around the menu five more minutes before deciding what I was going to eat that night. #intestinalgrief
4. That one hour trampoline privilege (Sky High, N.C.) that I paid my left leg for- wished I could have traded it all in for Twinkies five minutes after I started jumping (like my left leg/life depended on it).
5. That one hour trampoline privilege that I paid that left leg for- wished I had a catheter five minutes after I started jumping (like an Olympic gymnast on steroids).
6. That email that I was trying to save -- and all those pictures and other important stuff that seemed so crucial at the time -- wished I had remembered that PURGE means GONE FOREVER about five minutes before cleaning up my email queue.
7. Those beautiful children that I mama-bear growl at for various reasons and rush along and nag- sometimes I wish I could just remember five minutes before those words and frustrations pour out of my mouth -- that these are just moments in an otherwise beautiful life. They are not worth getting in a dither over.
8. That conversation I had with my mom today -- in which I proceeded to unload all my petty little troubles- wish I had of been able to go back five minutes before she proceeded to tell me about a very tragic loss that had occurred in her life while my family and I were away on Spring Break.
Sometimes five minutes is all we need. It's all we need to put everything else in our messy, beautiful lives into perspective.
Because that's what this is all about -- the messy in our lives is really the beautiful. And if I was really being honest, it's not about five minutes before or five minutes later -- it's really about living out both the frustrating and the pleasurable in life, at one and the same time. Is it frustrating to leave behind your dirty undies at a friend's house you just met? You betcha. But, taking away the memories of the wonderful time we had acquainting ourselves -- after a two year journey of introductions over the Internet? Well, that bag of smelly clothes I left behind (and will spend $44 American to recover) is small things.
(Mostly for me, by the way. Not her. I bet she's also wishing for that five minutes back because let's be serious -- who really wants dirty laundry from a new acquaintance kicking around your man cave??)
Five minutes -- it's enough time to put life into perspective. Particularly when comparing small loss to greater loss. As in the loss of a life, which I would come to discover in that conversation referred to above that I had with my mother.
Does this mean we cannot talk about the small stuff -- the random things we wish we could do-over? Of course not -- in talking about them, we realize that they are just small moments that comprise a bigger life. In validating our small moments and learning to laugh at them, we come to appreciate the bigger picture that much more. There is time enough for everything -- even for bemoaning the loss of five, precious minutes.
And in the process we realize life is full of many, precious moments that we live both in frustration and in pleasure. Because when we think about it, life is really lived just five minutes at a time.