I am scheduling my calendar from now until Christmas. Lots of routine, plus two special family get-together events, which are a big deal because we all live spread out across the country. Getting us all to the same place requires a bit of advance planning… and a more-than-a-bit of money.
I am also working on my final project to complete my MA. The last hurrah to a three-year long endeavor. There are assignment deadlines. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is still a long tunnel.
Work is ever-present, but less settled right now. Since my team focuses on serving others around the world, it is hard to commit very far ahead, and crisis like Ebola, ISIS, and international conflicts change the best of intentions.
On top of these things, my mom has decided to end her chemo treatments and begin hospice care. She is very tired and fragile, but is still mobile and mentally sharp. No one knows how much time she will have.
I have to live one day at a time.
I am keenly aware that I have to hold all the plans I make with a loosely open hand. There is no certainty that they will occur. No guarantees. Because of my mom’s condition, at any moment this Fall could easily take on a very different personality.
The truth is every day is the same – I don’t control them and they could be very different in an instant.
Only my level of awareness has changed. And my attitude.
I am more grateful for what I do receive each day – a long phone call with one of my children, fun times with friends, a walk or bike ride with my husband, a deep conversation with my mom.
I worry less on the front end, and I am more at peace with those plans that don’t turn out. I can often reschedule, plan something else, or just enjoy some time to rest rather than keep up the pace I thought I wanted.
I actually plan better and more. Because of my recognition that each day is a gift, I want to fill them well. I crave valuable experiences, efforts, communication, and relationships.
I don’t want to waste a single moment.
I am learning to more quickly let go of the anger and forgive the offense. I am trying to take the initiative to clarify misunderstandings and express appreciation and love. I want to listen well to others and encourage and empower. I am attempting to criticize less and give more generously of myself.
Isn’t it ironic that the awareness of death gives greater meaning to life?
How are you living each day?