Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Every. Moment. Counts.

It’s been a week or so since we returned from our trip to Florida. I knew when we planned the trip months in advance and even the day we arrived that our two weeks would go so fast and that I’d be home, back to my normal routine…. And here I am. Not that I don’t enjoy my "normal" routine, I do, the funny thing is there is nothing really “normal” about it. With my family we’ve always got some adventure planned or even if we don’t, a weekend or week night at home can be an adventure in itself thanks to Colby and Chase. Every day is a new challenge and series of activities and events regardless of whether it is a work day for me or a day at home with them. I am so grateful for the chaos and wonder and joy and pain and smiles and stress and each and every moment with them. What a gift I have in my little family. So grateful for each and every day!

As I reflect on my visit with my family, it occurs to me more than ever how fleeting life is. Every moment that you share with those you love or really anyone in your life whether you love them or not is so terribly precious. I unfortunately do not get to see my immediate family on a daily basis but I am comforted by the fact that those moments we do share, they are special and keep us connected whether we are together or 3,000 miles apart. I always miss them but even more after a long visit. It makes my heart ache, literally. My mom told me once when I went back to work after Chase was born that it isn’t the quantity of time but the quality of time that matters most with those you love. I thank her for those wise words that have comforted me every morning when I drop both the boys off and make my commute to work, or like now after we are home from one of our trips to Florida and I miss them so much. I would be lying if I said that I cherish every moment, every day with my family and everyone I encounter or interact with during a day’s time, I struggle with this a bit as everyone does with the pressures and stresses of life, family, kids, work, money, etc…how can we possibly soak it all in and enjoy every minute even the tough ones!? That would be impossible, after all we are only human but I do try now more than ever. It is always top of mind especially those moments of complete joy and bliss, and even those moments when you want to pull your hair out or just breakdown, that’s life and isn’t it wonderful to be living it!?

There is a book by Eckhart Tolle called The Power of Now, it was given to me by a former mentor/boss of mine years ago that I thought was a little woo woo at first and I actually didn’t finish reading it. I was younger, single and fearless and this concept of living in the moment was not first and foremost a priority for me. After I had Chase and my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, that all I changed. Fear started to set in for me, fear for my newborn son, for my dad’s health, for all those things that I could not control that could happen, would happen to me or those I loved. I often asked myself the question, how can we literally get up everyday and go on with life with all that is out there? With all the sadness, cruelty, and evil that is out of our control? I would and often still do get bogged down in these thoughts. I try to find a rational or logical way to explain it to myself so I can breathe, move on and focus my energy on more positive things… sometimes I can explain it or rationalize it but most of the time I live day to day with hope and distraction. And, I have also come to understand the meaning of that book. By living in the moment, enjoying the simplicity of the moment, making the best of the moment, what you are doing and thinking right now!!! By not worrying about tomorrow or what happened yesterday you can be present and fearless for yourself and those that need you and love you.

I don’t think I’ve had some huge epiphany but maybe I feel I have a better understanding of the meaning of life (at least for me) and how terribly short and precious it is, and what really does matter. Sometimes it's easy to say, people talk about priorities and what really matters, family first and all of that, myself included, but do we really mean what we say? Or, are we just saying these things to appear to have our acts together and maybe to make ourselves feel better…Do we really walk the walk or just talk the talk? I think we all do a little bit of both, again afterall we are only human, but what would it be like to live utterly and completely with this understanding, living for what truly matters and not all that other stuff…? But even then I don't think that is realistic and what life is truly about…

Life is about making mistakes and learning from them, it is about being selfish and selfless at times in your life, it is about making money and giving it away, it is about making and ending friendships, it is about giving birth and dying. Life is all of that, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The only way to come to grips with the worry and the fear and well, the joy and happiness, too, is to know and believe that life is about the moments that we have, make, and share. Every moment counts.