Moving puts a lot of things into perspective. I’ve done this a number of times and one thing that always amazes me is how many things I cram in at the last minute. Get togethers, coffee dates, play dates for the kids- it always seems I’m scrambling to fit everything in at the end, in the midst of the craziness of packing. So I’m challenging myself and you to seize the moment- carpe diem, if you will- and make time for the things that matter.
See, here’s the thing. We’re all busy. Crazy busy. And we can make all sorts of excuses for not doing something or other. We can put stuff off indefinitely, even put people off indefinitely. Time isn’t going to magically open up for the taking. You won’t all of a sudden have tons of free time in which to schedule coffee dates and such. You have to make the time. I once read a book by Elise Arndt called “A Mother’s Time,” and she makes the point that you have to make time for the important amidst the chaos of the urgent. The urgent things will always be there—laundry to wash and fold, meals to prepare, dishes to wash, cleaning to do, appointments to keep, volunteer work to do, church obligations, school activities… Oh, the list goes on and on. But don’t let those “urgent” matters overshadow the “important” things in life—those things that won’t demand your time, but sit quietly by the sidelines waiting for you to notice. Lunch dates with friends, visiting an elderly relative in the nursing home, writing a letter to a lonely aunt, playing a board game with your kids, calling a long-distance friend… You get the picture.
Now look back at those two lists. What’s the difference? The “urgent” list is chores and obligations. The “important” list is relations with other people. Ultimately, which is more important? Definitely the people list. So keep that in mind as you plan your days. Yes, the tasks of daily life must be done. But don’t let them crowd out your relationships. Schedule a regular coffee date with a good friend. Set aside one night a week for a family game night. Get a babysitter the first Friday of every month for a date night with your spouse. Set aside one morning each week for get togethers or letter writing or catching up on calls. Don’t wait until the last moment to cram everything in. Get out there and seize the moment.