Have you ever noticed how we take our joys and transform them into obligations? We get tangled up in expectations and plans. Failing to let our lives blossom or unfold naturally. We have a dinner party tonight. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate. But all day I have been thinking about my hair, what to wear, and if I have the right shoes. None of it matters. I am excited but also caught up in the details. I am not living with intention, I am living with urgency.
We have spent so little time out of our homes the past couple years that any event takes on new meaning. I’ve been talking a lot about the intentional use of our time and a realization is striking home. When we limit the amount of time we spend with those we love, intentionally or unintentionally, it leaves us with less time together. We may only have a handful of visits left and that feels too little. The realization also has me reflecting on living with intention, not just urgency. I have no interest in approaching gatherings with urgency – a rush to cram every interaction with deeper meaning or as many people as possible. But instead to focus on intentionality, being fully present and engaged with those we do spend time. Isn’t that how we should always approach time with our loved ones?
My aunt passed away several years ago due to early onset of alzheimer’s. She was not herself much of the time save a few moments during every visit she was my godmother. Twice a week I made a point to drive the half hour to the care facility in which she was living to spend quality time with her. We would do crafts when she was able. In the winter I would bring in a cookie sheet of snow to play with in her room. We made memories and laughed. My aunt would make propeller sounds and my daughter would fly the plane (her medical bed) to far off locales – Paris, New York, Egypt, and sometimes they made the trip. Other times they had to land early for repairs. They laughed and I laughed and recorded their exchanges. It was pure magic.
It was the magic of being present, of sharing a sacred moment, and of knowing that all we truly have is now. Intentionality is telling our loved ones, “I love you.” Calling an elderly relative to remind them that they are important to you. Making the time for family get togethers and wearing whatever you want. Because the point isn’t what you wear, the point is that you showed up.