This month feels like things have been a little all over the map. It seems during the month of February things always are, but this year specifically. I have always been a believer that there are signs in the universe that help guide us to where we are supposed to be. Signs or events that teach us lessons to help us grow, move and push forward. Without pushing we will never get beyond where we are – Growth happens in the uncomfortable. If nothing else, I have learned that lesson loud and clear.
Over the last few weeks during our snowfilled days here in New England, I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about really being present. Not just going places but mentally being where I am physically. Present; as in, being attentive, alert, alive. This reminder has shown up in more ways than one over the last few months. It’s something I definitely needed to be reminded of. As my business is still growing, my kids are still young, and I’m figuring out the full time working/ being a full time mother balancing act. It feels as if the very things I work so hard for have become lost in the shuffle. It was an obvious reminder again after my previous post about Erin – so, I took the day to just be with my kids. I needed it and it is very clear, they need it too.
Today as I was planning out my work week, the kids schedules, my schedule, grocery shopping, my work ‘to-do’ list, and the never ending house ‘to-do’ list,’ I was notified about this video from some very amazing friends. Jerry and Melissa might have over a million friends. Just kidding, but really, they are definitely salt of the earth people that I just adore. They are the most genuine, honest, giving, selfless people I’ve been given the honor to cross paths with. Melissa is actually the very reason I took the risk and jumped into the professional world of photography. She is the one who encouraged me and talked me into finding my wings. Although they may have countless fans, colleagues, and friends, no matter if you have known them 5 minutes, or 15 years — You have their attention when they are with you. Perhaps its something they work on, or maybe its just how they are, i’ve never really asked. Whatever it is, my perception is they are very good at actually being where they are. Melissa and I have spoke about work creeping into all areas of life and I’ve often asked how they keep it so separate as they work together and they are married. She shared how they keep each other in check, reminding each other when the work day is over and when their quality time together begins. At their designated time – dinner time or whatever it is – they shut down work and actually enjoy each others company independent of work. This absolutely shocked me! Talk about forcing yourself to be present! After this conversation months ago now, it has come into my head quite a few times since then. It primarily creeps in when my kids are about to eat dinner, or want to play a game, or want to color and I have to respond ‘just one more minute, just one more email, just one more call…’ I told you this message kept showing up.
So, as I mentioned, this video showed up in my space today. I click on the link and watched and slowly began to smile because I knew. It is here again. Jerry created this video to share with photographers to remind them of that very thing, but I don’t think it pertains to just photographers – It’s really a general statement. It’s really about missing your life. A favorite life quote of mine says ‘what you do today is important, for you are exchanging a day of your life for it!’ — How incredibly true. We only have a limited number, so think about how you are spending your days. Is it doing what you love? Are you missing your life? Are you missing your kids grow up? Are you out of touch with your friends? What you do today matters. You don’t get this time back. As a society we have become satisified with the ‘someday’ approach. Jerry speaks of this in the video – ‘I will be happy when I buy that boat, when I do this or when I do that..’ but unforutnately nobody is focusing on the truth – happiness is within you now. Not, in the ‘someday.’ Without happiness in your heart, you can never have the material things you want – they will never be enough. It wasn’t until I was divorced myself that I realized the importance of happiness within yourself. You are responsible for maintaining that happiness – fight for it and know you are worth it. Don’t wish away your life and make it a priority to keep those you do love safe and protected. I absolutely adore the way Jerry and Melissa protect their love so fiercely. Even if you don’t know them, it is clear in this 7 minute video, you can see how much they love each other. (And if you do know them, you know its 100% genuine!) One of the many reasons I treasure these two.. They wear their love for everyone to see. Their pride and passion for each other is nothing short of beautiful.
Let me be clear. Am I saying give up working and go run carefree and sit at the beach all day? No! Not even close. What has become clear to me is to set up guidelines and boundaries as a form of protection. If you don’t protect the most important things — your relationships with your loved ones — in your life, who will? Remember – you don’t get this day back. Make it count.
(Jerry and Melissa your connection and love is infectious. You share your gifts with so many but you always hold each other above everything else. I admire you – I admire that – and I’m so grateful to call you my friends. I love you.)
In gratitude and love,
And just in case you parents need another reminder — listen to this Phil Vassar – Don’t Miss Your Life – song here. Just brace yourself, you’ll probably cry too. You’re welcome.