Yesterday my son asked me to hang out with him and talk. He recently graduated from college and since he will only be home for a few months before leaving to go to school in Europe for a year, I want to spend as much time with him as possible. And yet I felt torn, stressed and worried because I had work to do. He cajoled me and reminded me how little time we have together and with that, he convinced me to set my work aside to spend time with him. And it got me thinking about my priorities.
Over the last few years I have been repeatedly reminded that time and good health are the most important blessings we have. One year ago, at the same time that my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I lost one of my closest friends. My friend Linda was a very young, extremely vibrant, 70-year-old woman with a remarkable sense of wonder and joy that was infectious to everyone whose life she touched. We talked many times over the last weeks of her life and the insightful wisdom she shared with me during that time profoundly changed me and my perspective.
While it is hard for me to fathom the time that has passed since Linda left us, I have felt her love and support acutely throughout this past year, which was both challenging and life affirming. Many times this year I found myself caught between a rock and a hard place trying to balance all the factors in my life. There were many projects and responsibilities that had to wait, and some that were placed on the back burner for a better time, in spite of my intentions and ambitions. But throughout it all, I could hear her voice reassuring me that I was doing the best I could for my mom and that this was the kind of thing that mattered most. Spending time doing things that help people near and dear, being in the moment with those that are close to you, while expanding that circle as far and wide as you can…. that’s what it’s all about now… at least for me.
I re-read the post that I wrote last year when Linda passed away (click here if you want to read it) and I am ready today to renew that commitment that I made to myself and my loved ones. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find myself needing to remember promises I may have made to myself that sometimes get lost in the daily shuffle of life. I am committing today to take the time to be in the moment, to stop and enjoy the time I have with a friend or a family member, to go for hike with my pup or a swim by myself. Cleaning the house or paying the bills is important, too, but maybe those things can wait for a few hours or a day so that I can enjoy time with someone I love, or care for…including myself.
As we begin this new season, with the solstice just a few days away, why not join me in committing to being more present this summer. Remind yourself to take time to do what matters most, take in the true color that surrounds you, enjoy the fresh taste of summer fruits and vegetables, and I promise your life will be richer for it!
And ironically, I take great pride in the fact that I wrote this blog post a couple of days later than I intended. But I had a wonderful time yesterday talking and laughing with my son after all.
With love, and most of all, with time,