What matters most
My life moves at a mile a minute and over the last few weeks between trips and conferences and commitments – to my family, my editors and the school – I’ve been moving even faster. There are stories to write and lunches to make and meals are slurped and stuffed in while I’m throwing laundry in or taking dishes out of machines all around the house.
I’m not complaining. I recognize how lucky I am to have what I have and to do what I do but it’s also tiring and stressful and it can wear you down.
Today it got worse, but then it got better.
Let me explain.
While I was checking Twitter and email on my iPhone while on a break at a school conference on bullying my phone rang and the name of my child’s school flashed across the front.
My heart flew into my throat and the whole world stopped. I took a deep breath and answered.
My youngest had fallen at school and hit his head. Turns out he was fine and back in class and able to recite his ABC’s but the school’s policy is to let you know. I’m glad – both that he’s okay and that he goes to a school that is smart enough to realize I should be told right away -but it made me think:
What if he wasn’t? What if in that instant something terrible had happened and he had needed me at his side right now?
All of the things that seem like they have to be done now and not a minute later would’ve fallen to the wayside instantly. Meetings would have been rescheduled and obligations would have been dropped without apology.
“So why,” I asked myself, “are they SO important when he’s well?”
Later, on my way inside the house, I saw this:
No big deal right? Just a tree changing colors like it has every autumn… except I missed it.
The last I recall that tree was bright green. I pass it everyday and yet somehow didn’t notice that it was changing.
How is that possible?
And then it dawned on me: It’s not just the tree.
Moments in our lives are just as fast and fleeting. You can look at your child one day and realize they’re taller, have deeper voices, don’t need you quite as much. In my life it has always been the moments that create memories: funny words my kids have said, the sound of their giggles the way they snuggle in for a hug.
I won’t be able to catch them all. No one can.
But I want to catch as many as I can and that means I’ll have to try to be more present in the moments that we’re together.
And so this afternoon, I’m rethinking my list, pushing some things aside and curling up on the couch with my boys.
Hope you can find time to do the same.
Moments matter most.