I don’t mean to, but I always seem to miss the moments. I’m in them (physically at least), but my brain has already raced ahead, to the next task, the next worry, the Next Big Thing. That cup of tea I promised myself after cleaning the kitchen? – it’s empty, but I was so preoccupied, I missed the taste.
Reminds me of a children’s book by Arnold Lobel called ‘Frog and Toad Together’. In it, Lobel takes us through a day in Toad’s life.
Toad wakes up and the first thing he does is get a pen and some paper. At the top of the page, he writes: A List of Things To Do Today.
1. Wake Up. (He’s already done this, so he crosses it out).
2. Eat breakfast.
3. Get dressed.
4. Go to Frog’s house.
5. Take walk with Frog
6. Eat lunch.
7. Take nap.
8. Play games with Frog.
9. Eat supper.
10. Go to sleep.
As Toad follows the list, he crosses out the items, one by one. He goes to Frog’s house. ‘Frog’, he says, ‘my list says we have to go for a walk’, so off they go.
As they’re walking along, disaster strikes and a gust of wind blows Toad’s list away. Toad is paralysed, whilst Frog goes racing off in pursuit. ‘I would come’ shouts Toad, ‘but it’s not on my list’.
Frog runs and runs and runs, but the list has gone too far for him to catch. So, tired and breathless, he goes back to Toad. Without his list, Toad is inconsolable, so they spend the rest of the day looking at their toes, with Toad emitting deep sighs.
As darkness falls, Frog gently suggests it’s time for them to go to sleep. Toad opens a beady eye and then leaps to his feet. ‘That’s it!’ he shouts, ‘the last item on the list!’
Using a stick, he writes on the ground, ‘Go to sleep’ and then crosses it out. Grinning from ear to ear, he heads off to bed, to dream of a new day – with a new list.
Imagine wanting so much to get to the next place that you’re never where you actually are. Crazy
frog toad. Good thing it’s just a children’s story.