Live Life to the Full, Have No Regrets

Today we are going on an adventure.

The girls giggle. “We’re going on a ‘school excursion’!” they say. We imagine a long straggly crocodile of paired off and name-tagged children, walking hand-in-hand. Where are they off to? The museum? The zoo? The fire station?

No crocodiles for us. No museum or fire station. We pack a picnic, pull on our track pants and running shoes, and grab our cameras. We are off to the lake.

We thump our water bottles down onto a picnic table. We toss our sweat shirts into a pile. The sun glistens off the water. The path beckons our feet.

“Are you ready, team? How many laps of the lake will we run today?”

We overtake old ladies with little yappy dogs, mothers who wait for dawdling toddlers, men who plod with heavy feet, middle-aged women gossiping as they amble side-by-side. We fly down the shade-dappled path and then out into the sun, past children throwing bread to the ducks, over the wooden bridge and past the picnic tables: one lap.

Lap after lap after lap… and then finally we drop with relief onto our picnic table bench, upend our bottles and gulp down water. Our mouths are dry, our legs are tired, our backs are wet, our faces are red. But we feel wonderful.

“Good work, team!” I say. “That was a great run!” The girls grin as I add, “Time for lunch!”

As I munch my sandwich, I look at my four youngest girls. I love spending time with ‘the team’.

“I’m glad you came with us,” I say to Imogen.

“I couldn’t let you go off by yourselves. I’d have missed out on all the fun,” my oldest-at-home daughter replies. “I couldn’t miss an excursion.”

But I wonder how long it will be before Imogen no longer has time to join me and the younger girls when we go off on an adventure. She is 18, and a university student. One day she will be too busy to be part of the team.

When lunch is over, we grab our cameras and set off for one final lap of the lake. This time we stroll along, slowly snapping photos of flowers and ducks and birds and each other.

I look up into a bare branched tree and I notice tiny blossoms just emerging from buds.

Many of the trees might still be dressed in only a few brown leaves, but spring has quietly arrived.
Another winter is over. Another summer is flying towards us.

The seasons come and go, and the years pass by. Has it really been two and a half years since my speed angel girls raced each other around this lake on their scooters, on that beautiful autumn day that caused me to stop and ponder the meaning of joy?

I look at the buds on the trees again, and time stabs my heart with sudden pain. Time is moving far too quickly. Time will take away my team. Will it be this year? Next year? The year after? I don’t know. One day it will happen.

But I refuse to be sad. I push away the time cloud. I smile and snap some more photos and capture this perfect day forever. Why spoil today with thoughts of tomorrow? God will take care of the future. All I need to do is to live right here in the present moment.

I remind myself…

Live each day to the full. Don’t waste one single moment. Let nothing come between me and my children. Love while I can. Have no regrets.

If I can do all that, I know I will be able to move gladly onto the next stage, and that also will be very sweet.
But today…

Today I am still enjoying the unschooling adventure.
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Comments

  1. Reply

    Yes, it's so important to remember. We have so much to be grateful for.

    1. Reply

      Kelly,

      I can't believe we're on the last stage of our homeschooling adventure. We have been greatly blessed!

    • Chris
    • September 5, 2013
    Reply

    What a lovely day!! Your girls are just lovely, Sue!

    Thanks for the peek into your day!
    Love ya
    C

    1. Reply

      Chris,

      Thank you! It was a great day with lots of happy moments. I wanted to write about it, and post some photos, so I will remember it forever!

      So pleased you shared our day and some photos of one of our favourite places.

      With love to you too!

  2. Reply

    How beautiful! Your gift of writing really shines in this…. it almost "glows!" (sounds dramatic, I know, but it does). And the photos are amazing!

    1. Reply

      Nancy,

      You have found exactly the right word to describe how we felt… We glowed after our run and our picnic… glowed with happiness.

      I have to admit I cheated with my photos. Andy bought me a clever DSLR camera for our anniversary, and I haven't yet learnt how to use it. I used the auto setting to take these photos because I had no idea how to set the camera up myself. Even with this help, I managed to take some dud photos. Never mind. Out of 100 shots I found enough good ones to add to this post!

      Thank you for your kind words!

  3. Reply

    Oh Sue..thanks for sharing your day. Beautiful faces, lovely pictures, wise thoughts. I think it is good to ponder that life will change and we will lose some of what is most precious now. Because, how awful it would be to come to the end of it, and not have cherished it while we still had it. But, you are also so wise to return to the present moment and squeeze..like a hug, every glorious drop of joy you while you still can. Then you will have no regrets…only beautiful memories. Thank God for memories! Have fun team Elvis! 🙂 Hugs to all of you!

    1. Reply

      Patricia,

      You are so right: We need to realise that life changes and appreciate what we have today. Time is so strange. I thought my baby years would go on forever and I was quite surprised when I found them behind me. When did I get old? Now I am more aware of time, probably because I can count the number of years until all my children will be adults… only 9 years! That sounds like such a short time.

      "…squeeze..like a hug, every glorious drop of joy.." Oh I like those words! They are perfect. Hug must be one of my favourite words. Everyday I'm going to think about squeezing joy out of each moment just like a hug!

      Yes, I'll be able to revisit such beautiful days any time I like in my memory.

      Hugs to you too!

  4. Reply

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for the reminder to not miss the moments. My kiddos are young, and I know time will pass by so quickly. Thank you for sharing on Field Trip Friday!

    1. Reply

      Misty,

      Your children are young? You have so many adventures still to come! Time does pass too quickly but we can make the most of every moment. I have lots of wonderful memories and I'm sure there are still more to come!

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog and sharing my story and photos. I have enjoyed meeting you through the Field trip Friday link-up.

    • Lisa
    • September 13, 2013
    Reply

    Sue, what beautiful photos! What wonderful memories you have made with your children. They are very blessed indeed! I need to get some lessons from you on how to relax more and unschool. I don't want my childrne to be pressured and stressed and not enjoy and love learning. Thanks for linking up with FTF. I hope you will be able to join us again this week. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Lisa,

      Thank you so much for your kind comment. Unschooling does give us lots of opportunities to relax and enjoy special moments!

      I'm glad you didn't mind me linking my post to your hop, and thank you for the invitation to join you again. I appreciate that! We don't seem to travel far from home to visit new places very often. But when I do take the girls on an outing, I'd love to share it with you.

      Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

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