My mom had an incredible sense of humor and a razor sharp wit. Even after she was admitted into a nursing home and had some challenges with dementia, her comic timing was spot on. My sister Sylvia was her primary caregiver and worked tirelessly to make sure mom’s paperwork was always in order and that she had what she needed. Sylvia was there most days and mom looked forward to her visits. Mom had loads of people who loved her so it was normal for her to have two or three visitors each day.
One weekend, Sylvia came to visit me and was unable to visit mom. Mom called Sylvia and was pretty upset about the fact that she was sitting in her room with no visitors. Sylvia handed me the phone in an effort to calm mom down. I asked mom what the problem was and she told me that she was sitting in the room all alone with no visitors. I began to remind her that it was only 10 a.m. and that she had lots of visitors the day before. To that she replied “I am not talking about yesterday. Everyday has to answer for itself.” When that didn’t work, I told her if she couldn’t be with the ones she loved, love the ones she was with” To that she replied, “Well I guess I am loving AIR, because that is all I see right now!” Sylvia and I could not stop laughing at that.
It has been over a year since that incident but it stills reminds me that the only day we have is today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised. Mom had a way of enjoying her days and was always busy making a difference in the lives around her. When you talked to her, you had her complete attention.
I now realize the power of being present. Just because we open our eyes each day doesn’t mean we are actually in the moment. Our best thinking can only be done when we can give our total thought and attention to the situation at hand. So often, we are busy multitasking and rushing that we forget to live.
I have begun to sit still for 10 minutes a day. I mean really sit still. This means no surfing the web on your cell phone and having no television or radio on to distract you. It really helps it you can do it without fidgeting or moving. Before you know it, you will be keenly aware of your thoughts and surroundings. This will lead to some wonderful discoveries about yourself and your life. It will also help you to understand the people around you a little better each day.
Once you have mastered that, try to really listen to the people around you and be present with them. You will be surprise at what you discover. I have found that I am more productive and my relationships are more meaningful. This is especially important if you have children (that include grown ones!). Life is a gift – be present and enjoy it!