Life is Worth Taking Time For
I lost my grandmum the other day. I haven’t really gotten over it yet and I’m sure I will be in tears when Easter comes and there is no card. I’m sure I’ll spend hours looking through old photos and writing this I am in tears because I wish I had taken more time out of life and spent it with her.
The other day, I remarked to family and friends how fast-paced life had become and how hard everyone was working. I was in Toronto for a funeral and yet at 2am I was still working on things required for delivery that week. I worked past my father and stepmother going to bed every night, got up and worked until my familial duties took me away, working until I was late for the viewing one day. It meant I spent less time with my dad than usual which I also mourned. I love my dad and just being around him recharges my family love batteries and I really don’t think he realises how vital he is to my life and continued existence.
We live in an always-on world right now. We have mobile/cell phones which we answer any time of the day or night. We have BlackBerry phones and HTCs and iPhones which we use to answer emails constantly. We never switch off and from when we wake to when we go to sleep, we are connected but connected to technology and not people.
My dad is taking a month off and travelling. He’ll be connected to the office but he’s taking a break and while he knows he’ll make less money as a result, he’s willing to do that in order to recharge his batteries. As I build my department, which is not my own business but someone else’s, I stress over making sure I meet board expectations, find new business, service existing business and work no matter what happens – I get ill, have a funeral or a holiday. I’m always on as are my boss, my colleagues and most of the planet it seems. That can’t be healthy and none of us seem to be truly recharging our batteries.
In this always-on world, we aren’t taking the time to spend quality time with people we love. My step-grandfather cut a branch of a cherry tree off from their yard so my gran could pick cherries as she loved to. She could no longer do so but he helped her enjoy those things she was passionate about. He drove her to Yorkdale so she could shop, he spent time filling her life with joy and spent time with her.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he said: “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” I’d like to say I’m going to change the way I work but I know it won’t happen so instead I’ll change the way I spend time with people I love. I will make sure I take time for me, for the people I love and for my friends. How that’ll happen I’m not sure but it’s my new focus.
This spring as the wheel turns and the holidays come and family gathers as do friends, will you be spending it surrounded by friendship and love or work?