Lynne here. Hope you have been good, friends. We are hanging in there. Leslie sends her love and her thanks and she wishes she could hug you all for all of the prayers and well-wishes that you sent her way. Her arms would be tired. But she would love it.
So last Friday, I lost my laptop. Like, it’s gone. It was most likely swiped when I either left it in my driveway as I loaded my kid and our individual stuff into the car, or when it maybe fell off the trunk where I may have placed it when I drove away. By the time I realized that it was not in the car, and I drove home to look for it, it was gone. I filed a police report, and looked at the one other place outside of my house that I could have left it, and I even walked up the street 3 times in case it had really sailed off of my car. But it was nowhere to be found. And while we changed our passwords and such, and some stuff was saved elsewhere, there is a bunch of stuff that I didn’t back up, like several original plays I was working on. And that is not a source of joy, my friends. I was telling this story to Best Friend Maria yesterday. While she was on a family trip out west this past summer, the hard drive to her laptop died, and she lost all of the pictures and documents and whatnot that were on it. When she called the guy from Apple support, he asked why she didn’t have her stuff backed-up to the iCloud, and she told him that she hadn’t wanted to pay the fee. “But it’s $1.99 a month! That’s $24 a year!”, he said. And she laughed as she told me the story and said, “Why don’t we take the time to protect the things that are really important to us?”
And that, my friends, was the perfect quote for this post, one that I have been trying to write in some form or fashion for a few weeks. Losing somebody blows your world up, and it makes it shockingly clear that life is short and in need of enjoying while you got it. I am not suggesting that you leave your family and responsibilities and live in your neighbor’s backyard. I AM saying, though, that it makes you take stock of what is valuable to you, and then makes you want to work those things. And your family would find you if you moved to the yard next door anyway.
Now, when I read things like what I just wrote, I know that the writer of said thing is trying to get their readers to be more free and live. I, however, get overwhelmed by that. “Why is this person trying to get me to be better? I am fine here watching my reruns of “Diagnosis Murder” for 3 hours a day (this may or may not be an example from my personal life. Guess.)” Change and taking stock are not always fun. Well, wait. Figuring out what’s really dear to you isn’t all that hard.
1. Think about your commitments, whatever they are, and if you want to keep those commitments.
2. Doing whatever you need to do to enjoy those commitments, even if you have to get rid of other stuff you like to do.
And this is the hard part. Over the weekend, I was driving home from rehearsal for the play I am directing with the most talented young people in it, and I went through downtown Annapolis where I live, and I realized that the sun was out and that people were actually enjoying said sunshine by doing outdoor things with their families. “This is awesome”, thought I. And I walked into the house and suggested to my husband that we should take the day off from church the next morning and have a family morning, and go downtown ourselves. We could look at boats, and we could go to the weekly farmer’s market they have, and we could basically focus on us.
And while we were down there the next morning, I had to physically restrain myself from pulling out my phone and checking Facebook to see what that person said about that thing, or to take pictures of the good time I was having (which I was), or to tell people about the good time I was having.
I was having a hard time focusing on having the good time. And that takes away from the good time for my family, and for me.
So there are no pictures of us while we were out, because I decided to be present for it. It’s not that you can’t do both, but I can’t always, and we are talking about me, so no judgment on you if this is an easy thing for you to do. I need lessons.
All of this to say, and I have said it before in other posts, but I need to work on protecting and enjoying what is important to me. You can’t get back the time that you didn’t spend with people, or the health that you didn’t take care of, or the day that you didn’t off to watch an afternoon of Hallmark channel movies because that is what your soul needed right then. And I am not saying this to make you feel sad or guilty or that you need to be writing a chart of all of the things you should be doing. Nope. It can be a small step. Like just calling somebody. Or not checking your phone when you are on a date or out with a friend, unless you are checking to see if your sitter called. Not because you posted a cute picture of your cat or your kid 5 minutes ago, and you know that people better be recognizing how cute it was in the way of likes.
Your cat picture isn’t going anywhere. Your time with your peeps is.
Focus on what is really important to you.