As you plan for the new year, as you’re penning down those goals and those fresh ideas, here is something to consider so that you don’t achieve most of what won’t matter at the end of it all.
I came to learn this from a moment in my life which I never saw coming. I had a friend who sadly passed away in 2021. She had just graduated from university at the end of 2020. I remember her sending me the university newsletter which featured her story as a person with a disability (she had a condition called Spinal Muscular Dystrophy which bound her to a wheelchair) who was first to pursue her program and had an outstanding performance.
It was something she dreamt of right from the beginning and fought every obstacle which tried to hinder her dream. In the journey of pursuing her dream, she became so busy and frankly less available. We used to take walks to the shops and just breathe air whenever we got the chance to. By the time we returned from the shops, her wheelchair battery would be flashing red because it was running out and we would laugh about it!
We used to have friends around who we’d laugh and rewind with. We used to watch movies sometimes to refresh our minds. But with time it got so busy that she didn’t have time for such.
I would sometimes remind her to take it easy and to intentionally make time for herself and the things she liked. She would sometimes dismiss such conversations and explained that she needed to work hard since she was a slow learner (I highly doubted this by the way; she was smart).
Her sudden passing away a year and half ago left me confused and taught me a powerful thing about life; life seems long and under our control but it is so fragile and not guaranteed!
That’s why we need to hold dear each day of our lives. That’s why each moment with our loved ones is so special we shouldn’t take it lightly.
My friend and I used to discuss our plans about life and I can tell you neither of us thought one of us would lose life so soon!
Some of us are used to being too busy for anything that actually matters to us; we are too busy to play with our kids or to help them with their school work. We are too busy for our spouses and can’t even slow down, put our phones away and just share a sweet moment with them. We are only available when it’s work and we can make extra cash or can impress our bosses and score a promotion. Some ladies get so busy helping at church and spending more time there than they spend with their families.
My siblings and I always remind our mother to take things slow. She’s that typical mother who is always doing something because according to her, “things need to be done!” We used to say she was addicted to working. She would say not doing anything made her sick! So whenever she was home, she’d mop the house, rearrange furniture, sweep the whole yard, clear the weeds around our yard and so on! So we had to change her outlook on this and made her accept that it was ok to rest! Nowadays she tries to rest and avoids the urge to overwork herself. It’s still something she’s adjusting to.
Not forgetting our health! Don’t be too busy that you forget you only have this one body to use while you’re alive. It’s your precious property and should be treated with so much care. Hit the gym or do some exercises at home. Watch what you eat as well and suppress those urges to eat too much unhealthy foods. Dress nice, smell nice and do something nice for yourself too because you matter! We know as a woman you carry the family on your back but you need pampering too. You need to pamper yourself whenever you can.
If you are struggling with being more present and enjoying moments for what they are in your life, I recommend you read the book, The Present by Spencer Johnson. Not spoiling it for you but the book can help you appreciate things around you and turn your focus away from stuff which stresses you out. It can give you a fresh outlook on your environment and challenges.
A lot of things may matter to you, but this year be aware of the things which matter to you the most and invest time and attention on them.