Making. A. Living.
We are so busy creating a tomorrow of our dreams, that we're sleeping through the gifts today is already offering.
As a small business owner, it’s expected that, in the first few years at least, that you invest stupid amounts of time at the office, teetering on ‘what the hell am I doing’ training-wheels and pausing mortgages, superannuation deposits and any semblance of a normal life while crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
Bingo! If that is the definition of a business owner, then I was nailing it.
What I wasn’t doing so well though, was nailing life.
Amidst my 14-hour, seven day a week martyrdom (previously known as dedication), I was all about making a living, but not actually living. Making a living - what an oxymoron! The act of making that living is often the one that deprives you of it.
So, my question is – what the FUCK has to happen for us to wake up to ourselves and take our priorities out of the wrong basket and put them back into the right one?
I’ll tell you what.
You get sick.
Your mum dies.
You get sicker.
For me, it happened in that exact order.
All within eleven days.
And now, when I look back at the ridiculous hours I was working, the moments I was missing and the choices I was making, I can see why the Universe felt I needed such a swift kick in the reality check.
I wish it had simply sent me a memo.
Looking back, I can see it sent me many.
But I ignored them.
So, I am imploring you to take stock of your moments. Every single day we get to choose what we grab hold of, and what we push aside for later.
Is your ‘later’ basket filled with the family events you’re too busy to attend?
Is it overflowing with conversations with friends that end in “let’s catch up sometime”?
Is it bursting at the seams with lost opportunities for beach walks, memory-sharing, early finishes and handholding?
Is it in the corner where it always has been and where you expect it always will be?
Have you turned your back on it while you focus instead on your basket filled with more pressing things, like who’s letting you down, the money you fear you’ll never have, the boundaries you’ve disintegrated and the self-care rituals that you’ve sent back to simply exist as words in the dictionary?
You have a basket of things that are demanding your attention.
You have a basket of things that are simply waiting and hoping for it.
Which basket are you prioritising?
Are you aware you can actually prioritise both?
Twenty-two days ago, I had planned to take my Mum out for coffee. I cancelled because I was too busy.
15 days later, without warning, she died.
I can’t even remember what I was doing that was so important.
But now, there is nothing more important than wishing I could turn back time and have that coffee.
Please don’t make the same mistake.
Two things are for sure.
One, we expect the people we love to be around forever, and two, we don’t know how long forever actually is.
Invest your time and effort into making a living, but don’t forget the living part.
Take stock of your baskets and find a way to value them both before the day comes when you no longer have a choice.