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Archive for October, 2012

Simple Things

Sometimes, we need a reminder that life is not all about work, making money, phone calls, emails and the hustle of everyday life.  We concentrate so hard on everything that we have to do that we forget everything else.  That’s what happened to me over the last month.  I forgot everything else. September is always a very busy month in my main business.  It’s a time of year when we push hard, working 12 or more hours many days, talking to as many as possible, selling as much as we can.  There is little time for anything else.  This year, more than any other year, I felt like selling took over my brain, and I had no room in my life for anything else.  I was running full speed ahead from the moment I got up each morning to the time I crashed each night.  I had writing to do, but no time, and no brain left for it.

I was still in that mode when I made the drive from Indiana to Wisconsin last Thursday.  I was going to stay with my  brother and nephew while my parents went to the lake for some much-needed time alone, and with my grandson and granddaughter, so their daddy and mommy could also have some much-needed away time.  As I drove, I made voice notes of things I needed to do, people I needed to call.  I went through a list of things I wanted to accomplish while I was there.  Some boxes to go through, areas to clean, talks I wanted to have with my 12-year-old nephew and 11-year-old granddaughter.  I barely noticed the countryside I was driving through I was so wrapped up in things “to do”.  It could have been spring, summer or winter, for all I noticed the brilliant orange and red of the trees I passed.

I was still in that mode when I woke up Friday morning.  Get Saraphin up and out the door for school, take the dog out, feed EJ breakfast, clean up the kitchen, go to the grocery store.  It was while I was on my way out to pick up the grocery list from my parents that my reminders started.  For some, those reminders of what’s important come when we or a loved one are suddenly seriously ill, or when we tragically lose someone.  For me, they came in the form of my grandson, EJ, who is two and a half.  When I buckled him into his car seat, he chattered as a 2-year-old will.  Where was Monkey?  Was Brutus coming? Juice? Sissy?  I handed him Monkey, put his juice cup in the cup holder of his car seat (yes, car seats have cup holders now), Sissy was at school, no, Brutus wasn’t coming with us now, Brutus would get a car ride later.  As  I drove, I looked in my rear view mirror and all of a sudden, it was 27 years earlier.  The little boy in the back seat was an almost exact replica of the little boy I had riding in a car seat back then.  Big blue eyes, eyelashes all women envy, curly light brown hair, big cheeks and a smile that steals your heart.  Going to the grocery store wasn’t a chore, it was an adventure.  It was a place where you could see new people, exclaim in wonder at the way a pineapple felt, sniff the flowers in the floral department.

All throughout the weekend, with the help of EJ and Sara, I was reminded to enjoy the simple things.  When you are chasing after a 2-year-old, you really don’t have time to think about which clients you need to call, or who you need to get an appointment with.  You have to be present and attentive, or you could find the floor covered with ice cubes because he discovered the automatic ice dispenser on the refrigerator.  When you hear the gleeful squeals of a boy and a bulldog puppy playing, how can you care about that report you should be writing?  Who needs expensive game systems when you have a sink full of water and dish soap bubbles? When Sara discovered my old ballet toe shoes in a box I was going through, I remembered how it felt to put them on for the first time.  The pure joy in her face when I said she could have them to keep reminded me that we don’t need to buy expensive gifts in order to make someone happy.

I could have continued to be caught up in all the things that I had to do, thought I should do, but the sight of the little boy in the car seat in the rear view mirror reminded me that though some days may seem endless, the years really do pass quickly.  One day, that 2-year-old will be a grown man with a little boy of his own, and all the cares and worries of an adult.  Too soon, that blond-haired girl, ecstatic because she was able to stand on her toes, will be off into the world, creating a family of her own.  I don’t think when that someday comes I will think of with regret the sale I didn’t make, but I know I would regret forgetting to enjoy the simple things.

 

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