As a blogger, I’m always curious about what others write, but was especially intrigued by the title of a post, “Don’t Carpe Diem,” that a coworker sent my way. In it, the brave blogger (I’ll refer to her as BB) admitted that she doesn’t enjoy every single moment of parenting. Some of you may be saying, Shut your mouth! Not I. I get her.
Seize the day. I’ve always embraced the philosophy. I’d never considered another perspective until I read BB’s. This quote sums up her heartfelt view: “Being told, in a million different ways to CARPE DIEM makes me worry that if I’m not in a constant state of intense gratitude and ecstasy, I’m doing something wrong.” While this may not win her any parenting popularity points, if you’re anything like me, it does make you go ‘hmm.’
BB likens parenting to climbing Mount Everest. She supposes people try it because, “Even though it hurts and it’s hard, there are moments that make it worth the hard.” Then she suggests if there were veteran climbers stationed all along it encouraging them to enjoy every single moment and yelling to the climbers – “CARPE DIEM!” they might get thrown from the mountain.
I’ve had a few of those less proud ‘throw the well meaning older woman from the cliff moments’. While my children were being unholy terrors, she told me how adorable they were. Listening to her, I watched helplessly as they wreaked havoc on other shoppers with our cart. In that moment, I wondered if it would be easier to throw myself off instead! BB has given me permission to admit that I don’t Carpe Diem every second of every day with my children. Ahh, confession is good for the soul. And it’s freeing.
Now that I’ve fessed up to the fact that Carpe Diem doesn’t always work for me, I can let the notion of always trying to live it go. Doing so opens me up to embrace some new ways of looking at time with my children. Chronos time is one of them.
BB described Chronos time as, “what we live in. It’s regular time, it’s one minute at a time, it’s staring down the clock till bedtime time, it’s ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it’s four screaming minutes in time out time, it’s two hours till daddy gets home time.” No wonder I’m exhausted!
Considering Chronos time, I’m all the more thankful for Kairos time. BB calls it God’s time. “It’s those magical moments in which time stands still.” BB is grateful she has a few of these moments each day and she cherishes them, as do I. As BB shares how she moves between being stuck in Chronos to being transported to Kairos, I’m struck by the beauty of BB’s words because they echo my heart:
“Like when I’m stuck in Chronos time in the grocery line and I’m haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I’m transported out of Chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I’ll feed my children to grow their healthy bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world’s mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just start at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.”
What about you? Even if you don’t Carpe Diem, or can’t Carpe Chronos, how about trying to Carpe a couple of Kairoses a day?