Carpe Diem: Life Lessons from An Avocado

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One evening last week my kiddos had a variety of places to be at overlapping times. I knew we wouldn’t be able to swing a normal family dinner, so I set out a self-serve nacho bar. It was a darn delicious idea. I cooked up chili, grated cheese, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives and avocado, and filled a giant bowl with tortilla chips.

I left it all on the kitchen table for my family to eat at some point in their comings and goings. That evening I shuttled kiddos to and from piano, mutual, scouts, and caught most of a baseball game in between.

When I finally got home, I was looking forward to dinner. But the food on the table did not look nearly as appetizing as it had three hours before. The chili was cold, the lettuce wilted. And saddest of all was the avocado. It had gone from a delicious, fresh, pale green to a dismal gray.

Avocados are among my favorite things. They are delectable, nutritious, versatile. Their downside, however, is a short shelf life. Once you cut one, you must eat right away. As I ate my avocado-less nachos that night, I realized that many delicious experiences in life are like avocados–if you don’t seize the moment, you might miss it!

I’ve heard it said that the things of greatest importance, last the longest–relationships, for instance, and the lessons we learn in life. But in addition to this truth, life’s beauty is often manifest in fleeting moments.

If we fixate on a picture of our perfect tomorrow or are clouded by the distractions of today, delicious moments slip through our fingers and disappear.

I can’t tell you how many seasoned mothers have encouraged me to cherish this time in my life, to be present in the moments–to fully experience rainbows and sunsets, little arms around my neck and little hands in mine, smiles and laughter.

They have plead with me to enjoy my children, for all too soon they will be gone.

These sweet women know from experience that delcious moments are fleeting–that once they are gone, we cannot get them back. In order to live each season of life to the fullest, we must focus our energies and attention on the things that can only be done in that season of life.

Because all my kiddos are home for the summer, I find myself running in circles with busyness. It wears me right out. But this week, I’ve been watching out for avocado moments and I’ve been surprised by just how many there are.

Looking into my six year old’s face.

Watching the sunset with my girls.

Sitting on the porch early in the morning with my husband.

Listening to my toddler try to tell jokes.

A quick hug from my teenager.

Watching brothers smile as they play catch.

Hearing my children play learn the piano.

I’m sure your life is full of these moments too. SO LET’S STOP. Stop and listen. So stop and look around. So stop and inhale deeply. Stop and connect with others. Let’s make every effort to eat our avocado when it’s fresh.

Life’s busyness will have to wait because there’s nothing quite like the regret of a missing avocado on nacho night.





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