We are always getting ready to live, but never living.Ralph Waldo Emerson
It was a mundane Monday evening. My hair was in a messy bun atop my head. My arms were elbow deep in dishes. It was a night like so many others. Every hour was occupied, every moment planned. In that quiet moment my mind began to drift. I wondered what was happening to us.
In our brief serene moments, we made big plans that we would promptly cancel when the pace picked up again. We broke our own rules. We made exceptions. “No phones at dinner” became “No phones, unless (fill in the blank with an excuse).”
Getting takeout once a week transformed into cooking a homemade meal once a week. At some point we started to know each other only behind laptop screens. We were ships passing through the night, greeting each other with exhausted glances before collapsing on the couch. A warm embrace became a hand squeeze. A cheerful grin became a weary half-smile.
Let’s not punish or blame. Let’s admit that we’re human. We are imperfect. We are trying and we are tired. We are working. We are juggling. We are in a never-ending balancing act. This is just where we are, and let’s give ourselves a little credit through this exhaustion.
So let’s get a sitter tonight if only for an hour, and let’s make this hour, these sixty minutes count. Let’s pack a bottle of our favorite cabernet (and those plastic picnic glasses we bought and never use) and walk to the park. Let’s lay out a blanket and catch a moment of peace. We’ll laugh together and wiggle our toes in the grass. We’ll feel the last moments of the summer sun kiss our skin, and then eagerly wait for the gentle white light of the moon. We’ll watch passerby and talk about our days. We’ll chat about nothing and everything. We’ll quietly slip this hour into our Wednesday night, and it will be beautiful.
I am a partner. I am a daughter, a friend, and a colleague. I am a therapist at The Montfort Group. I am growing and changing each day, just as you are. I am juggling constantly, and sometimes I fall into the mechanical motions of busy schedules. We should all pause once in a while. We all deserve a moment to breathe, to remind ourselves of what is truly important in this life. Happiness, partnership, parenthood, faith, identity, friendship—these are a few of the vital elements that are often lost in the commotion. Let us push ourselves to slow down rather than speed up. Press pause for a moment and consider this: What’s one way you can challenge yourself to preserve what is important?
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