What a rare event. Time to spare. Or figuratively speaking at least. Time is one of my precious assets. Time creating. Time living. Time with my children. Time with Hubby B. Time at work. Time with family. Time with friends. Time for growth. Time for me. Yes, time for me. I know it comes last, but it is there.
A long haul flight
You may wonder why I have time to spare. Your feeling of me is that I probably have none of such. Well, I don’t really. I am still working on that concept of “owning” time. But as I sit in a London – New York flight, the feeling is of such abundance. As they announce 7 hours 15 minutes of flight some roll their eyes and I rejoice in the abundance of the time I have ahead of me. Shall I start with my book, my journal, my excel file, some music. I start with some white wine. I don’t drink much in flights, but over the last week, I feel like #lifeisbetterwithwine. Don’t worry, I have not become an alcoholic. Indeed, I have not even finished the second glass of wine I was handed.
Wine has enough effect to make me ponder in the act of sitting back and relaxing while I sip, immediately going back to a execution in a much more focused manner the moment after. This week, I admit it also helped me deal with pain and, at points, anxiety. But let’s not go there for now. Today, it is not about anxiety. It is about abundance of time.
Preciousness of Time
Time is precious for me because I live a filled life. As I finish the amazing book “Maybe you should talk to someone“, by Lori Gottlieb, I am amazed at the speed at which I went through this one. It was only last week that I was turning the last page (or last audio chapter) on The Big Leap, and suddenly I went through another book in less than a week.
I admit, I enjoyed it so much that I was listening brushing my teeth, tidying up the house, any commute time, and even slowed down getting to the office. I tried listening to it in the shower but clearly failed. But this won’t be another post about a book I read today. At least I don’t think so right now. Truth is, I don’t know what this will be about yet. This is usually the case. I know where I am starting but rarely do I know how it will end. Just like a book. Maybe that is why I enjoy reading almost as much as I enjoy writing. Finding out the unknown.
I bring up the book because one of the characters (sorry for spoilers) that has a terminal illness at some point says
“The only reason I don’t want to die is because I had a filled life. And that is a good thing.”
I am not surprised by it, but indeed it makes me stronger in my pursuit of enjoying time. Enjoying now, fulfilling my dreams and ambitions now. Writing a blog today, if the book tomorrow never comes. Reading a bed time story every night that I can. In case tomorrow never comes.
Thinking about Death
Don’t worry, I am not going to go all morbid on you. I haven’t suddenly started thinking of my own death. But in all honesty, I think about it a lot. When I take off on a flight. When I feel my body failing. When I see my kids growing up. When a week goes by and I don’t know what hit me. I wonder if I will suddenly die and leave so much of what I love behind.
And then I remember what Lori’s character says, as I feel it with a passion.
The reason I don't want to die is only because I have such a fulfilled life.
And I know I don’t say that often enough, so I thought I would say it today. I tell my children “I love you” every day. I wonder if I tell Hubby B every day – I have to remember to do it more often. Not take it for granted. I don’t tell my Mum or Dad every day, or my sisters, or those friends that I most love. Though they may think I lost it if I suddenly started calling them every day
“I just called, to say, I love you”…
If you are not from a generation that knows this song, google it. I do that sometimes from the office with Hubby B, and then I go through periods through which I forget. I do that with my children when I don’t get to go home and see them in the evening. Lest they forget. In case I have no other chance to tell them.
Preciousness of Life
Telling someone that you love them however, as important as it is, is not the same as sharing what you believe the preciousness of life is with them. I did that intentionally for the first time last year on Valentine’s day. As this year’s Valentine’s day approaches, I need to remember to do the same.
I read it on a blog by Dr. Laura Markham, how we could make Valentine’s day more meaningful as a family. I admit it, I haven’t often celebrated Valentine’s day. Not because I haven’t been in love, but just because I find that every day is a good day for that. But last year, red hearts in hand, I decorated our dinner table for 4 with candles and hearts and I wrote each of them a letter. Of why I love them, and why they were special. I have to remember to put that in the children’s albums (that I will do when I am probably 60 due to “abundance of time”, wink).
After that, I also asked them to share what they appreciated about each other around the table. It is so easy to find flaws. Little Girl C unable to sit at the table. Baby S turning the rice on his plate upside down into his place-mat (at least there is a place-mat). Hubby B anxious about the email he did not get to finish when I called him to the table. Me bossing around every one. For at least one night, we tried out the opposite. We appreciated each other.
This year, I will try something similar, but maybe add a spin about what we appreciate about life as well. Not only about each other, but about what we do together, and what makes our hearts swell. I don’t know about the red hearts though, let’s see if I find something handy in Little Girl C’s arts and crafts box.
The other side of Abundance
It is a fine line to choose to live an abundant life. It can be stressful. Many don’t think it is good for me. They don’t get why I do it. In fact, I sometimes don’t think it is good for me either. My body is telling me in a big neon sign it is not good for me. But I still know why I do it. Because life is precious.
I have every day’s struggles as everyone does. Working long hours. Juggling life and motherhood. Being a wife, a friend, a mother, a sister, a daughter. Running the charity (for good or bad). Writing and sharing, helping people grow their businesses, stop and think about life. I know how fortunate I am. And I wish that for anyone daring. It does not mean I wish 50 thousand things. I just wish whatever it is that makes sit back on a long haul flight and smile as you sip your first sip of wine. Amazing – time to spare to do all the things I am passionate about. Eventually, I get to this article. And eventually, I run out of time for lots of things as my eyes tell me they just need a little nap. But it still feels abundant.
Living and Tripping
I dare living on this fine line because I am conscious of the uniqueness of one’s life, and therefore I want to dare. I know with it comes failure, humps on the road, moments of mistrust. But as much as I can, I take it as part of the overall experience. I know that daring comes at a cost, and I know that I have to keep a close eyes on my bank account of health (physical and mental), social interactions, family life and professional output. All needs to be unbalanced and balanced at the same time, and over time. A trapezist always has its base stand to go back to when it needs to prepare for the next wonder move.
Sometimes, I trip. The domino falls. I have however learnt to contain it more though. To compartmentalize, make it less like a domino and more like a puzzle. To quickly stem it as it starts to shake. Or to take away some pieces that overload it. Yes, I get anxious some times. Fearing I can’t spot it. Fearing I am compromising too much, especially on the one thing I cannot afford to compromise on – health. The book ended up being a great reminder of this. Because it is at the centre of my passion for life.
And I have 3 hours of flight to go…. See you on the other side.Ross Parmly