REFLECTION: Another Labor Day weekend has come and gone. We spent our trio of days socializing in a uncommonly active way: hosting an out of town colleague for dinner on Friday, visiting with dear friends around the riverbank fireworks on Saturday, taking in a dinner theatre with my parents on Sunday, and enjoying two visits with our grandson and his parents – one involving a last-day-of-the-season twirl on the merry go round. We experienced wonderful connections with all these people who are so important in our lives.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but remember two who are no longer with us. You see, in addition to marking that transition from summer to fall, for two decades of our family life, Labor Day weekend was the time for our annual visit to a treasured aunt and uncle in Edmonton. Both have passed away in recent years, but I still think fondly of them and the memories we created together during those ‘same time next year’ Labor Day visits.
I’ve noted that my aunt’s birthday still appears every year on my electronic calendar (September 3rd was her day) and that her address and phone number are still listed in my electronic address book. For some reason, I can’t yet bring myself to erase either one.
ACTION: As summer ends, the leaves turn, school begins, work ramps up, and fall activities roll into full gear, spare a moment to think about the status of those relationships that are near and dear to you.
In whose lives do you want to have the kind of presence that your influence – not to mention your vital statistics and coordinates – are treasured long after you’re gone?
And, when you take a look at your plans and schedules for the days and weeks ahead, how often do those folks appear in the mix?
You probably already know that devoting time and attention in the present moments of our lives is exactly what it takes to build relationships with that kind of lingering impact. I’m just offering an autumn reminder, before the fall calendars and commitments get jammed so tight that there’s very little space for those who matter most.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” – Stephen Levine
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: My friend and speaker colleague, Jim Clemmer, offers a generous storehouse of articles on life, leadership and learning on his website. Here’s a link to one that describes how ‘Life Accumulates in our Personal Choice Accounts’: http://www.jimclemmer.com/life-accumulates-in-our-personal-choice-accounts.php
READERS WRITE: In response to one of last month’s Pause e-zines titled ‘What Do You Want From This Experience’, reader YD writes:
“Thank you for this wonderful question, ‘What do I want from this experience?’ Only seven words – but a lifetime of awareness and discovery.
As of late, I’m trying to live the daily experiences of life through two prisms or optics:
a) What would I think of this situation if this was my first morning ever?
b) What would I think of this situation if tonight was my last evening ever?
Somehow, I experience the daily events differently. I wonder why.”