A lot has happened in the last 30 days, which is why this blog is posted later than my usual “first of the month”. I bought a new home, sold an old home, and moved. (Each of those things is like a full-time job?!) Additionally, I continue to support my daughter through an ongoing personal challenge as we marked its year anniversary. And said good-bye to three people, whose departure impacted those close to me in varying degrees. Each of those situations offers an opportunity to reflect.
Going through all of my belongings to either purge or pack provided a chance to look back and reminisce on personal and professional happenings. It can be mind-blowing to realize how quickly time passes and the way that some things change, and some stay the same. It’s also enlightening to see the things that hold value. There are things we have kept because they possess special meaning or memories, even if it has been years since we’ve seen those items. Even if we have to dust them off, they still are treasured.
There was a similar sentiment at the service I attended for a close friend’s family member who passed away, as we looked at family pictures, old and new, denoting all the good times life offers. There were various awards and recognitions this person received over their lifetime. They represent highlights all of the things that really matter in life, family, friends, and your impact on the world. Listening to people share about this person and the good they did for others was moving. Heartbreakingly, within the following 24 hours I got word that a friend from years ago, had also passed on. The comments about her were similar. Consistently everyone said the same thing about her, how kind, calm, and gracious she was in her spirit. She had had health issues for decades, as long as I had known her, and yet she was steady in her joy and peace. Her passing brought people together from across the country who hadn’t been together in years. Her life impacted so many other lives. Old friendships reconnected in her honor.
In both of those situations I thought that is how I want to live my life; leaving here knowing I left a mark on this world for good and while doing so, I was kind, calm, and gracious. I want to have the kind of impact that draws people together to celebrate my life and reconnect with one another at a heart-level.
Throughout my homebase transition this past month, I was determined to emulate that demeanor. I didn’t always feel kind, calm, and/or gracious. There were many times I was anxious, stressed and/or irritated but I really fought to be at peace, to keep perspective about what really matters. And those I talk to the most (which this past month was my realtor and loan officer HA!) confirmed I did ok. For the most part, I kept perspective and my composure. I’ll take that as a win.
So, what does this have to do with you? Are there things you can take away from this experience for your own self-care practice? There is no question that things are challenging right now for those in the field of education. Some of you may also feel like you have several full-time jobs (like I felt this past month). There are so many things to juggle, remember, deadlines and demands to meet. It can feel overwhelming. It IS overwhelming! But what really matters? What do you value most? Metaphorically, consider are there things you can pack or purge? As you make decisions about how to use your precious time, think about what will have the greatest impact for good and align with what you value. Are there things that can wait? Matter less? Someone else could do? You don’t have to do everything, and you absolutely don’t have to do it all right away. (That is something I keep telling myself as I put self-inflicted pressure to have my new place all put together “today”)
And then as you do those things consider the way in which you do them. Would people say you are kind, calm, and gracious? It can be difficult to maintain that persona especially when things are harried and hard. But in the end, a life well lived is worth it!