There are two types of people in this world. Those who come to the table half in and those who come to the table all in. Don’t waste your time on people who will not give you all they have. You do not deserve half of someone’s love, half of someone’s time and half of someone’s attention. Life is too short to feel like you are not enough. Surround yourself with people who build you up and respect you with the same kind of committed heart. Their lack of time is never a reflection of your worth, but rather an indicator of how much they value your relationship. Choose people carefully and don’t be afraid to reduce the size of your circle. Quality over quantity.
Now more than ever I am starting to understand the value of time. I get it. We live in a hurried world and we are always reminding ourselves and everyone else of the time we don’t seem to have. Remember that when you tell someone that you do not have time for them you are valuing every single thing over the people who are supposed to mean the most to you. We may not even notice the hurtful message we are sending. When you get home from work and spend the entire evening on your laptop you are sending the people in your house a painful message. I know because I too have sat there aching for a couple minutes of someone’s attention. When you schedule lunch with a friend and you show up 15 minutes late and then rush through lunch complaining of running out of time, you are hurting the person who made the effort to sit across from you. There are 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. Seriously, you can’t even spare or offer even 30 minutes of concentrated time on a human being that you care so deeply about? Time is a precious gift and when you dedicate a chunk of time to a spouse, a child, a friend you are hugging their spirit. We all need to feel loved and valued and the greatest way you can make anyone feel like they really do matter is to give them some of your time. Sometimes the problem is not time at all but rather how we mismanage it. If this was your last day to live, would you be proud of the way you managed your time?
A picture popped up on my Timehop. It was from 4 years ago. My kids were at the table carving pumpkins. It made me smile as I remembered the time and effort they used to put in and how sometimes their pumpkins reflected each one of them so perfectly that it would make me laugh. Kayleigh would make a slightly mean looking pumpkin and Chases would look confused. Those were the moments that I remember often. Life has changed so much since that day. It makes my heart feel a little bit sad. My kids are turning 20 and 17 this year and all I can do is watch as our lives become less and less intertwined. I never really considered that we wouldn’t be together anymore. Maybe I wouldn’t have been able to stand the thought. I was so caught up in the responsibilities of raising them that I never thought about how the phase would end when they grew up. Sure I love watching them become adults and blossom into who they are meant to be but I also really miss them and that family of 4 eating dinner together every night. Sometimes I think about it and I just feel sad. This is a reminder that time slips through your fingers whether you notice or not. It spills right through regardless of whether you open your fingers and willingly let it pass or whether you try and hold onto it for dear life. Appreciate your life for exactly the way it is today because one thing is sure, tomorrow will look quite different.
Today I went to a new church. It couldn’t have been more different than the one I have known my entire life. It occurred to me as I sat there that I have been listening to the same message for the past 40+ years. I’ve felt so stuck lately. In my heart and my mind I have longed to find a new me… a deeper me ready to live a life full of passion and fulfillment. Something has been holding me back. I’ve been numb for so long, a much duller version of myself than I am meant to be. Be a good girl, perfect mom, devoted wife, endearing daughter. Be quiet, be patient, be better, be stronger. Be this, be that….be whatever and whoever everyone thinks you should be. The demands never seem to end. I have been confined by the opinions and labels of others. Every expectation is another chain that keeps me locked in the prison I have chosen for myself. Link by link I have built my existence and I am ready to break free. I’ve been searching for me on the same map all these years. It is finally clear that I have have been looking for answers to my deepest questions from the same sources all this time. How could I possibly grow when I never had the courage to seek a path I had never traveled? How could I evolve if I only interact with the same crowd, listen to the same voices? What if they’ve been right the whole time or even worse, what if they’ve been wrong? When will I have the courage to stand up and proudly and confidently say this is me without being forced to apologize or be shamed? Today I took the first step on this new path and I am more excited than ever before. Today I followed my own inner voice and I took a step in a direction that has been calling me for some time. This is a reminder to live bravely and walk boldly in your own shoes. Turn down the chatter of the world and once again you will begin to think for yourself. You are in there waiting to be rediscovered. Now go rescue yourself before time runs out.
How many times a week do you make time to do something you love? We forget that we actually do have control of our time and sometimes we make poor choices when it comes to how we spend it. When I was younger, I absolutely loved country dancing. I have spent years reminiscing and missing all those fun nights. Last night I made the decision to go back and I felt so comfortable on that dance floor. I was in my element doing something that makes my heart and mind really happy. This is my reminder to make it a plan to do something you love. I promise you will thank yourself after because our time is limited. Be happy. Simply make up your mind and it will happen. Have a great day!
I was walking into the gym as a mom and her son were walking out. “Want to watch me run up the hill mama?” The Mom shook her head no and told him they had to hurry home. I wanted to sit the mom down and look her in eyes and tell her how fast the next few years would fly by. I wanted to tell her the disappointment she would feel 14 years from now when she had to beg her son just to stay in the same room with her for more than five minutes.
This is a reminder that today will be gone before you even get in a full inhale and exhale. Make time for the little things in your life right now because a week from now, a year and especially ten years from now you will wish you made more time for the things and especially people who matter more than anything else. Love your life, love yourself and love the hell out of your family. Take the extra minute to watch your children play. Watch their face light up every time you say yes to making them feel loved and important. Don’t miss your life…not a single second of it. Every moment is a gift. Take it in, bottle it up and be grateful for all you have.
Sometimes I wish I knew. As scary as it is to imagine my last breath, I wonder how different I would live if I knew. Imagine having a jar filled with grains of rice that equated to the number of days in your life. I would have 4 jars on my counter and each day, each one of us would remove another grain until finally there were no more left. That would be the end. Can you imagine the perspective that alarming bit of knowledge would bring? If my husband had 10 days would I spend them resenting something he said out of a moment of frustration? If one of my children had a few breaths left, would I nag them for a grade or an unmade bed? What if I was down to two or three? Would I march in support of the latest cause or call people names on Facebook that I’ve never even met? Would I spend a single moment hating a President, a neighbor, a family member, myself?
Maybe we should all take a moment at the beginning of our day to visualize our jar. We may never really know the amount of time we have left but we are guaranteed with each rise of the sun to have one less.
Live better. Enjoy your life. Look into the eyes of the people around you. Study their faces. Be grateful for each wrinkle, each meal, every act of kindness and every moment you are given to live in a way that truly matters.
What if we knew? What if you knew? Would you live differently?