Thursday, July 23, 2009

Your money, miles, or your life


There I was, sitting at egoistic gunpoint staring at the screen. 50,000 miles to Florida. 50,000 miles that I’ve spent the last year building, building in hopes of reaching elite status, and of exotic trips to I do not know where with what time I do not have. Along with hoarding time I was hoarding miles. Do I save them? For what greater reason do you have to hoard them Danielle? I looked down at my mass of self development journals and flipped to my list of things that bring me pleasure and meaning to my life, and number one on the list: family.

I clicked the button. I can’t believe I even thought twice about it.

Grandpa, after many years of struggling with cancer, has decided to cease all treatments, and is in hospice at home. I am convinced he is going to live till 130 because he promised me, but just in case, the entire family is flying to Florida to spend some time with Grandpa. I will see half brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces I have never met, and my father whom I’ve not seen for a year. Here, after eight years of not seeing him, I finally am making time for the number one thing on my list of importance in my life.

How is that so, that we can live our lives so incongruent to what our actual values and priorities are? How could I think twice about spending something as intangible as miles for the experience of seeing my grandfather in his time (or my time) of need?

I am sitting on a plane on the way to Hawaii, having spent the first three hours working away at reports, sales analysis and making incentive plans. When in Seattle last week I picked up a book called Happier, by Prof. Tal ben-shahar, phd. A professor of Harvard University, he created a course called positive psychology, on learning the secrets to daily joy and lasting fulfillment. It soon became the most popular class at Harvard. Im on page 53 so far.

I just read about reorganizing our lives to make time for the things that matter most, that gives us a sense of enjoyment, meaning. This means that we have to be diligent in making rituals of these events, or when the calling comes, to act on that impulse and not to put it off in fear of it not being “perfect.”

Which is why I just whipped out my notebook and wrote this. I’m not going to edit it…change it, I’m going to leave it be. There. I made time for my family, used miles to see them, and made time for a hobby that brings me great joy, writing.

Go ahead. What is on your list of things that bring you pleasure? Go do one of them. Give this day…TODAY… Tuesday, July 21st a little bit more meaning, make yourself a little bit happier.

1 comment:

Riani said...

In all my wanderings, in all my journeys, I find that home is where you are.