Yesterday at church I was given another nudge – I often find that when I need to have guidance or focus it is handed to me if I just listen. At church, with Frank in tow ( which is a miracle in itself) we listened to Pastor James Brown ( yes, his real name) talk about a Modern Menace – the concept of more. I really connected with this sermon because it validated for me the decisions that I am making for both Frank and I right now, at a time when I sometimes worry about my choices.
The global message was that our society is caught up in the concept of more – and not just more stuff, but more opportunities for promotions, and jobs, more hours at work. These correlate to more money, for more stuff. The goal should be, in my loose translation, to find the world between what we need and what we want – and I think that is a hard place for many to live.
I will be the first to say I never would have thought it possible to live without my job, from both a financial and life satisfaction view. But I was wrong. The two other interesting concepts that were discussed were over-scheduling (so does not need explanation) and over- estimating. The over-scheduling is still our life, but I actively work on this. It helps that Frank is very in tune with asking where we need to be on what day. He cannot always remember what the plans are each day, but when I have to repeat the schedule to him a few times, and I still cannot keep track of all of the appointments, we are clearly too busy as a family.
Over-estimating our time here on earth is a crucial component to our reality. How often did I put off texting Frank goodnight, or I love you, or not calling him because I was too tired? In all honesty, I did not text or call Frank the night of his accident. Why? Because I thought “Well, he never answers anyway so why bother?” Little did I know that he enjoyed those goodnight texts, and that even if he could not respond, they meant some thing to him. And I was too tired to do it, thinking that I could just see him the next day and it wasn’t important.
We don’t know how much time we have with one another, how much we have with our children. It is easy to say “not right now” “I am busy, I have work to do” or “Maybe tomorrow”. Those are choices Frank and I made all the time – too busy to play catch, go for a bike ride, or sit together touching feet and laughing together. Living in the world we have for the past four months, moment to moment, then day to day, has been eye opening. When I start to say no, I think to myself “Why not? What are you doing right now at this moment that cannot wait 5 minutes?” Sometimes that is a hard thought to get used to, and sometimes we still say no, but I find Frank to be the one to set that example so often now. He is the one that takes the time to play catch or take out the soccer ball. He is setting the example for me as we move forward with our new life.
Thank you Frank.