How often do you find yourself participating in this age old conversation filler:
Person 1: Oh my, is it May already? Wow – where has this year gone?
Person 2: I know, right? It seems like it was just January and now the year is already almost half over.
Person 1: Blah, blah blah, busy, so busy, everything in life is busy. . . .
Person 2: Blah, blah, blergh, I too am busy, I think I am even more busy than you, blergh busy. Next think you know it will be next year!
See what I am getting at? I admit, every time this conversation (and the topic of weather – but that’s for another day) comes up I want to hide inside my invisible turtle shell so no one can see me, the introvert in me crying and having a tantrum over this inanely boring small talk. Honestly – why do we do this?
I know most people do it because it helps fill the air and avoid being uncomfortable. The problem though is many people actually feel like this all the time in their life because they are spending 90% of their time surviving to the next moment and 10% (MAYBE – but it’s generous) of their time actually planning / growing / improving life.
What happened? I call it getting lost in the weeds. It’s when the details have overwhelmed you and taken control and minutes become days, which become months and yes, the next thing you know a year has passed and you cannot figure out where it went.
Ya, no thanks.
It’s good to set time aside and take assessment of things. You have to get above it and look at the big picture – you know, that thing you are calling your life – and see where it’s going and if that’s what you want. When you put yourself in charge and get above the crazy minutiae you get a much better overall view of things. Imagine yourself in New York City, walking along the street, and the types of people and moments you experience. What if you spent your entire life always on the ground level of NYC – never once going to any of the higher floors to have a look-see-around.
Then you get a chance to fly in a helicopter above New York City for the first time and you see how MANY buildings there really are, that it’s surrounded by water, and the beautiful horizon that can be hidden by the huge buildings seems to be never ending……..there’s so much new and amazing things to see up there! A whole new perspective.
This past Sunday was the 16 year anniversary of when the sunshine of my world, superhero, defender of fun, and extrovertedly amazing friend Sara died in a terrible car accident. She was 19 years old and I was 2 weeks away from graduating high school when it happened. Until that point, life seemed never ending and we had all the time in the world to do everything we had ever wanted and planned — and then it all ended. My world exploded into a million reflective glass pieces and now the task was gluing all those pieces back together, one by one. It took about ten years for me to feel nearly “human” again (closure never truly happens, by the way, there’s always shredded pieces and chunks missing from you after things like this). Ten years of surviving…..moments becoming weeks, leading to months…..and then years.
Every time I experience a huge life event, I always remember Sara isn’t ever going to have this chance. As a result, I fight to capture and remember every nuance for myself – and for her. I am very precious with my plans. I sit down, I assess, and I redirect my course if I have to. I am always working hard to improve and my goals all focus towards 80% personal growth and 20% life maintenance.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spontaneity and unexpected awesomeness (that was Sara’s forte). I also know what it’s like to disappear into the vortex of “busy” and “surviving” and find you’ve lost yourself in the process.
So, next time someone wants to chat inanely about the fact time seems to be flying by……don’t let yourself get sucked in! Is it really flying by? Then do something! Catch onto it – focus – and make sure you aren’t missing out on maximizing what you’ve been given and even work to improve it.
Some people don’t get that chance.
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