One stumbles upon things, messages arrive in the oddest of pathways and in the most unexpected venues. Often, it is Facebook that we find some hyperlink or post by a friend that delivers that EXACT message we needed to hear, the message meant JUST for us, like the universe knew our heart’s desire and made a special delivery. Other times, we fumble and bumble and blunder about blindly, maybe even mere inches from the escape hatch, unable to get to the place we so desperately need to be.
There have been people in my life who confounded me and I realize now, years later that the issue was not me or my inability to comprehend things but rather these people lacked a clear understanding of themselves, they were unaware of their motivations, desires, dreams or fears. They lacked a true historical context for their lives and therefore had no clue as to where they were going or even where they might want to go. Hanging out with me made for a particular dilemma for them because….well, because I have always had a clear understanding of myself and what I wanted and where I was going. (I’m not saying I was right or righteous, I’m just saying I had a clear vision). For me, hanging out with them was frustrating because I mistook their indecisiveness. I assumed wrongly that everyone – by a certain age – knew what they wanted, understood their motivation and had a mission, if just a short term goal. The classic question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? And everyone knew the answer and also had a few pathways to reach that end point. Call me naive or an idealist. It took a while to realize not everyone has a plan. I was never afraid of the risk. I was always willing to make the decision. Pick one. This way or that. Maybe I’d pick wrong but I was always willing to PICk. Not picking somehow seemed a failure to live a real life.
But now, at mid life, post-marriage, with teenaged children, I am again confronted with this problem. I know what I want. I know what I want the future to look like, to FEEL like. I don’t have very many needs. My basic needs are covered – and covered exceptionally well. I don’t apologize for my indulgences. I buy expensive sheets (at Target), I spend money on nice lingerie that I wear everyday. I am a practical woman but everyday life MUST have whimsy and frivolity. A life that is always seriousness is torture, grueling and unbearable. Even Christ’s Passion, which was true torture and misery promised eternal bliss and joy. They are dovetailed, conjoined and (in my opinion) an acceptable cohabitation. I can bear the misery for I know that bliss tags along. And joy is not diminished by the fact that someplace close is it evil cousin, sadness.
But the most rare commodity I have, the one thing I treasure more than anything I own is my TIME. It is my most valuable thing and to give my time to someone, to devote to them my free and unfettered time is a precious thing. And I make sure I give MYSELF time, to relax, to be leisurely, to linger upon baking bread from scratch or weeding the flower beds. This is where the true luxury of life lies….in the time we share with other, when we slow down and include others in our space and our time. It is worth more than cash or store bought gifts. To take the TIME to write a letter, to leave a phone message or to drop by unexpectedly have intrinsic value beyond measure. Likewise, to be miserly with time, to go beyond frugality and be stingy with our time indicates we place no genuine value upon something. The people who say that they care about their health but never make time to exercise are being dishonest. The truth is to be present, to live fully and to focus on the day, this day, the now. Don’t miss the chance to give that hug, to touch a face of someone we love, to speak to them directly and say…..I am so glad to have seen you this day. For there may not be a tomorrow. Today is all that there is.