Late Sunday night, just as I was about to sign off and go to bed, I received an e-mail from a writer I had referenced in a Happy Happens post.
She not only read that July piece, she became the very first person to inquire about submitting a guest post to this column.
I was over the moon, Journeyers!
You see, I’d spent weeks trying to bring others on board and seeking guests, but my arms just aren’t long enough yet, I guess, so I’d tabled that attempt for a later time when I could devote more time to making acquaintances with more magical friends.
She seemed so excited when I told her, “Yes! I’m still accepting submissions!” and then she was gone. Vanished into cyber, Never-Never Land.
Until she resurfaced three days ago.
“I want to apologize for falling off the face of the earth and the delay in getting back to you. Life just got the better of me…too busy, too hectic and not enough time to find those pure moments of happiness.”
She went on to say that she had captured a joyful moment over the long weekend and wanted to know if I was still accepting submissions.
I was excited in the knowledge that someone is not only reading and liking, they want to participate.
I was also a bit saddened.
Journeyers, we cannot make or create extra seconds or hours into our day.
And though I am notorious for “losing time,” it’s not really something to be found.
If we want to do something, we must not only choose the action, we must allocate space within our day.
We must take time, Journeyers.
Whenever possible, we must claim those minutes for ourselves.
Oh, it’s absolutely so much easier said than done, but it can be done.
But all too often we use life or change or work or children or laundry as an excuse to deprive ourselves.
Sure, often times obligation must be met.
Children must be fed.
But sometimes they can feed themselves.
Laundry must be washed.
That said, I’m very good at leaving it piled on the couch for days on end. (Special note: cotton clothing = no ironing.)
Dinner dishes must be washed.
But do those dishes have to be finished at nine o’clock in the evening?
Nope. They surely didn’t.
Work hours are generally designated.
And life, well, it’s fluent and warped and stagnant and electrically charged and totally unpredictable.
Whenever possible, flexibility is key.
If we are rigid in our hopes, dreams, and expectations, then we fail to appreciate the goodness that lies in the experience.
What we must realize is that it’s not that something positive didn’t happen, it’s simply that it happened differently than we’d planned.
Sometimes it seems as if we are being swallowed up by the mouth of our surroundings, but if we can pause for a minute or two, just be still and look at the bigger picture, often waiting in the peripheral is something we can appreciate.
And lastly, Journeyers, all too often we tell ourselves it’s too late to do something.
Too late to apologize.
Too late to let someone know he is appreciated.
Too late to lend a helping hand.
That’s so old news, we tell ourselves.
It’s irrelevant now, we rationalize.
If you have missed a deadline, well, then, you’ve missed out on whatever it was you thought you wanted to do.
If it had been important enough, however, you would have taken the time to make it happen.
How many stories have you heard about someone who has quit a job to pursue a career in a field they love or to embark on a dream?
Now, I’m not suggesting we pull up stakes and abandon everything we know, but I am wanting all of us to know that every time we do or don’t do something, we are making choices and allocating our time.
It’s been my experience that most things in life don’t follow such strict codes and limits.
I once sent out pre-addressed, stamped Christmas letters in March!
I actually made labels with a big sun on them and the words, “Better late than never.”
Whereas we rarely hear back from people during the holiday season, I received two letters in response to my mail, and a couple of phone calls.
Christmas is my favorite time of year, but I refuse to be sucked into the MUST-do/buy/run/give-because-it’s-Christmas mentality.
I don’t do it, Journeyers…
Most of the time. Every once in a while I find myself caught in that “too busy, too hectic and not enough time to find those pure moments of happiness” mode, but when I do, I slam on the brakes.
I’ve often said, “Even those of us who’ve experienced some form of tragedy or unexpected loss of a loved one forget that life isn’t promised, and we have to refocus our attention.”
I attempt to spend as much time as possible taking the time to actively notice those things that help create a sense of joy.
Don’t you think we deserve it, Journeyers?
I do. I think it’s time we start spending more time accepting that there isn’t more time, that the next word on this page isn’t guaranteed, and that the spirit of peace and fulfillment we are looking for might very well begin right here…
Where do you find yourself looking for fulfillment? Do you accept that most of the time it’s never too late to start pursuing whatever it is you you’ve wanted to do?
Giving ourselves the gift (and right?) to a few minutes for ourselves is surprisingly difficult.
Not for all of us, but some of us – we’re easy enough to find – those who are used to caring for others and not necessarily caring for ourselves.
I’m trying to remind myself of what you so eloquently express in this post.
It’s never too late for many things, and often, they are small moments with big impacts. In a highly narcissistic society, there are still many of us who do not make sufficient space (or time) for a self.
We can do better. Right now. (I was about to shower, dress, and do something for someone else – yes, it’s important – but instead, I think I’ll spend an hour with my Sunday paper and a cup of tea before getting back to my usual work. That’s important, too.)
You sure know how to make a girl feel good about her writing. 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing and commenting, but most of all for loving this message enough to apply it into your day. I’m betting those minutes with your paper and cup of tea were a little bit of divine…
And might I add that the connection between us is a bit uncanny…Work and Duty and Obligation has swallowed me whole these past few weeks, and I haven’t allocated time to reading my favorite blogs…
But I played a little catch-up today, leaving a few comments over at your Daily Plate of Crazy before heading over to complete today’s tasks… 😉
I don’t believe it’s ever too late for anything. But you’re right…I need to slam on the breaks…create more time for myself…notice those moments of happy happening. Hope you had an amazing weekend, friend!
It’s something we all need to do, Melissa. So happy to have found you and your blog, and even happier that you’ve joined me here at The Five Facets. I had a fantastic weekend and I hope you did, as well!