How often do you find yourself letting too much time pass by without connecting to a loved one? Is it days, weeks, months, or even years that time eludes you until one day you begin to wonder how long it’s been since you talked to your brother, sister, mother, father, relative, friend, or some other loved one?
We all live in a busy world with busy schedules and have busy lives right? Well that’s at least what we tell ourselves. But what if that day comes when we are notified a person we love dearly but hadn’t reached out to for some time has passed away suddenly? How then do we feel about all that busyness?
I’ve lost my mother, father, and a few close friends very unexpectedly in my life. Prior to their deaths, I had all the excuses in the world on why I couldn’t make the time to reach out, say hello, and spend even five minutes talking with them. After each of their passings, I held immense guilt on the many times that I made excuses to picking up that phone and calling any of them.
Look, there are 24 hours in a day. That’s 1440 minutes that each of us find ways to occupy. And sadly, many of us, like I once did, fail to take even five minutes out of that to contact a loved one we don’t get to see all that often.
My sister is a good example of this and it saddens me that she hasn’t fully grasped this concept yet. I have often struggled to get a hold of her and am normally the one doing the work to set up a time to talk. What many people like her forget about is that all we really have is today and none of us know whether it could be the last day we breathe life into ourselves. After losing enough people so suddenly in my life, I have learned this lesson and realized that life is way too short. When I think about someone today who I haven’t reached out and contacted in awhile, I don’t put that action off any longer. Even if that’s taking a few minutes away from “the busyness” of my life.
In my most “busiest” moments of my life when I was consulting full time in the computer world or running a bed and breakfast that I once owned, there were still plenty of moments I could have found the time to reach out to a loved one. But what happened back then for me was I very selfish and placed my own priorities ahead of doing something selfless like contacting a loved one just to say hi. So after an exhausting day I usually convinced myself I was too tired to call and instead watched television. And for all those times during the day when I was in my car commuting anywhere, I either listened to music or dialed the people I placed as “more important”, which ironically were just people that fed my ego. The long and short of it really came down to my selfishness and self-centeredness. I’m not sure if I can say that’s the case for everyone though, such as my sister.
Some people, like my sister, really just have hectic schedules throughout every day. In her case, not only does she have three children to take care of, one of which is under one year old, she also holds down a full time computer consulting job. Finding any free time throughout the day often proves to be very difficult for her because of this. And when she does find a moment free, often the only thing she really wants to do is rest. I do have compassion for this, but I also know that it’s just as important to work into a schedule a few minutes to reach out to those that one loves. Isn’t it better to do that, then never to do so at all and then one day find out that person you kept putting off contacting is now deceased?
Please don’t get me wrong. I know people like my sister are busy. I can be busy. Life can be busy. But really, is our lives that busy to spare just a few minutes of it on any given day to do such a simple task of dialing a loved one?
I encourage each of you today to take a moment, breathe, and think about all those people you really love and haven’t talked to in awhile. Visualize yourself getting a phone call from someone tomorrow telling you that one of those loved ones has passed away. Feel in your heart what that would be like and I’m sure it will be enough to convince you to take five minutes out of your busy life to reach out to them right now.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson