Saturday, November 7, 2015

Take The Time Today

Today, I am baking an apple pie. It's 1:07pm -- as I begin this post -- and I have already snuggled with my cat, caught up with my son, stripped beds of sheets, done two loads of laundry, purchased necessary items for that same son at the local CVS, swept my kitchen floor and attended two funerals.

It's the last one that made the decision of what I'm doing this afternoon. It's the last one on that "done" list that inspired me to bake a pie.

I'm still wearing my dressy clothes as I type -- my Angel open heart necklace, skirt, tights, heels and dressy blouse. I swept the hard-wood floor and launched the second load of laundry in my dressy church clothes. Feel a bit like Donna Reed.

To tell the truth, I've already had a challenging week and I will admit to some weariness. I'm in a play. We have had a busy tech week. I wear two hair pieces, spend over an hour getting them on and my head is sore. Whereas some may choose to spend the weekend after such hecticness lounging in front of the TV, I am baking a pie. Or, I will be once I finish this post.

Today I said goodbye and honored the life of a lovely soul who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. But before that, I attended a funeral on the other side of town to support a coworker who lost her father. And on Monday, I will bid farewell to a theatre friend -- one who actually once gave me the opportunity to direct him in what turned out to be the last musical he performed at my local community theatre -- who also lost a battle to cancer. I am sad at the loss of so many beautiful spirits ... and hopeful they have a place on the stage, at the card table, or in the choir in a heavenly realm in their new shiny, transformed state.

Life happens. We get busy. Our priorities shift from caring about the people around us to "getting stuff done." We allow ourselves to feel hassled. We shut down and shut out.

Today as I sat in the church next to a very dear and very important friend of mine, I found perspective. I was truly blessed as I listened to a song my friend Conny recorded that she wanted shared in her Celebration of Life ... it was her taking the time to say Thank You to the people important to her. What am amazing message. See none of us knows how much time we are allowed on this planet. So we should make the most of it ... and we should remind the people who are important to us that they hold a place of honor in our hearts.

We should tell the people we enjoy spending time with how much we enjoy them ... whether our time together is limited or lengthy. We should make time for the "important" things, and let the rest go.

So, amidst the rushing, I have taken more time lately to bake cookies and snacks for my kids. I even made a great sacrifice and spent a couple hours last week catching up with a friend I hadn't had time to get together with in a month. I graciously helped her 'break in'  her new hot tub.

I messaged a friend who lives far away.

I made time to get dinner or a drink with friends who are important to me ... amidst our crazy schedules.

I have straightened my kids rooms and dressed my daughter's dolls up simply to see the resulting smiles -- and enjoyed doing it too.

And now, with this post, I speak words I don't always take the time to express. In case you don't know this ...

You are important to me.

And because I care and I don't know how much time I have to make a difference on this planet, I will reach out. I will send light. I will care for those who are important to me with unconditional acceptance and no expectations.

Whether we are gathered around the dinner table or have an evening once a week to lounge and watch TV or grab lunch in between yoga and picking up kids or take a few minutes over a cup of tea to talk politics or get a beer at the bar ... each moment was important to me because you -- the people I spent those times with -- are vital to me ...

You bring sunshine and joy to my heart. You challenge my thinking. You help me grow. You teach me things and give me more than I can ever express ...

Whether we took a walk and laughed or chatted on the phone across the miles or shared stories over knitting needles or took a drive ... I enjoyed the moments we shared. Whether you gave me a Valentine or took dance classes with me or performed with me in a show ... You gave me something in that moment. And you continue to give meaning to my life. Thank YOU for taking time to share with me.

When I was in fourth grade, my best friend Sheila Stratton and I listened to a 45 called Thank You For Being A Friend ... It was sung by Andrew Gold. Some of you may remember it ...

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
your heart is true you're a pal and a confidant
I'm not aschamed to say
I hope it always will stay this way
My hat is off, won't you stand up and take a bow...

Oh there's more to it. I'm sure iTunes has the song, if you're curious. But for now, I just want to thank you for the moments -- large, small, intense, passionate, quiet, simple, theatrical, etc. Thank you for making time for me. Thank you for choosing to spend your busy days or evenings with me. Thank you for your text of encouragement or the call just to say hello. Thank you for the Angel Card. Thank you for dinner and listening ... thank you for sharing.

You give meaning to my life ... you are special ... I enjoy you and whatever time we get ... I treasure you and our times together.

Now ... I need to go and bake that pie ...
                                                                                                -- Jenni