Last week, my friend Cindy came over to bake Christmas cookies. Cindy is one of those people who makes you think more deeply about yourself and how you live your life – in the best way possible.*
She asked me what my biggest takeaway from this year was. Ahem- That is a big question! This is what popped out of my mouth:
- I don’t want to miss anything because I’m waiting for something else to happen. When my brother in law visited, he told us about a conversation he had with a cab driver who had just become a grandfather. He talked about how he just wanted to BE THERE for for his grandchildren’s life. He said that while his children were growing up he was always worried: worried about work, about buying a house, what they needed that they didn’t yet have. And then suddenly they were grown. “Being present” is such a cliche these days, but I think about it all the time with James. Ever since I have entered the public with James, a steady stream of parents of all ages have approached me to say: “It goes so fast. Enjoy it.” And I can already see myself sidling up to a young mother with a baby, cooing the same words: “It goes so fast. So very fast.”
- What matters. James brings everything into sharper focus. What matters? Because there’s no time to waste on anything else.
- I feel more confident. Do I still doubt myself all the time? Yes. But I also realize what a waste of time it is for all of us: for me, for Dan, and especially for James. He doesn’t need a mom who is worried all the time about what she’s worth – he needs a mom with a clear vision for what she wants for her family and for her life. (It’s sort of interesting – many of the things I couldn’t get myself to do for myself (like take vitamins), I can get myself to do for James.)…(And with all that said, I run into all the same shit with myself every day. Even as I write this it feels like on long string of cliches that nobody wants to hear. I told Cindy that I’m always fighting against my default mode – which is to be a little bit lazy. Let me clarify: if someone is asking me to do something, I’m probably going to bust my ass to do it awesomely. If it’s just me holding myself accountable, eh. I give myself a B-. But no one is going to be accountable for my life but me, right? So for now, I swallow the doubt, publish this string of cliches on the internet.)
What it boils down to is Time. It’s racing by and it’s not going to slow down. So I am always thinking: Clear the noise, focus in. This is your life. Now.
*Not long ago, she asked me to send her 10 words that are important to our family – words we love and live by. I encourage you to try it! (Ours: Love, People, Adventure and the wonder of the world, Responsibility, Gratitude, Empathy, Perspective, Work we care about and believe in, Being good, Life/living like we mean it).