It had been an excruciatingly long day before I made it home and collapsed on the sofa. It was a Friday night after another exhausting week. With the kiddos tucked into bed, I reached for one of my favorite magazines. As I exhaled, hoping to relax and let the day melt away, the noise of the week rushed into my thoughts. Everything I had neglected to accomplish earlier in the week made its way in, elbows flying. I started thinking about the trouble with time, the lack of it anyway. As much as I could fit into spaces of time, a long list always remains.
I heard the heavy breaks of a fire truck pull up outside. The firefighters moved swiftly, pulling out red medical bags and heading toward my next-door neighbor’s house. I put down the magazine and my thoughts, stepped out onto my front porch to see what was happening. Heavy sobs could be heard as my neighbor’s front door opened and the firefighters made their way in. I stood frozen in the cold, worried for my neighbor. A firefighter dimmed the lights. Another one draped a white sheet over something on the floor. A third stepped outside, onto my neighbor’s front porch, calling in a code of some sort. Soon after, several police officers arrived. The firefighters packed up and left. I couldn’t understand it. My neighbor was in his early 60s, a fit and healthy ex-professional baseball player, now a private practice mental health professional. He was always happy, friendly and peaceful.
I wanted to stretch out my arms far and wide and scoop up my loved ones. I wanted to deposit them in my kitchen as I baked muffins and scones, made cocoa and coffee for them until the warm scents and the laughter and the love swirled into one.
Sometimes a jolting event sends us running back into appreciation of life. Sometimes, it’s simply knowing that there is too much at stake—our relationships, our health, our bodies, our lives.
I think we all at some point fall victim to being the thieves of our own lives—stealing the joy, the beauty, the miracle from ourselves in order to run the rat race. For a moment, I’m going to imagine life with less running, dashing, juggling, cramming. I realize that time is precious, that moments pass, and if I’m not plugged into them, I may miss them forever.
These are the tiny threads of experience that weave us all together as humanity—this is living. If I were going to truly live as though there were no tomorrow—for me or for my loved ones—what would that look like? Am I on that path? It leaves me with one thought… I must make the time.