My dear friend has an expression she often uses, “Life is Long.” To which I internally wince and think “No, life is short!” Maybe we’re both wrong. Or perhaps it’s somewhere in the middle. Life just is. For some it’s long. For some it’s short. For all, time is finite. And that’s what I get fixated on. Cancer initiated a ticking clock in my head that just doesn't stop. Therefore, my general speed is one of frenzy. I’m constantly in a hurry to get somewhere, to make progress, to clean up, to get to a meeting. Striving to be a good mother, good colleague, good citizen. I’m rushing to make a deadline, start a consultation, make dinner, get to bed, get up and start it all over. I live in a state of haste.
There’s nothing quite like a vacation to show you just how crazy life has been. Thankfully, it all came to a screeching halt in July.
While walking on the beach, my older daughter proclaimed, “Look, I’m walking in your footsteps.” She was literally stepping into the rivets my bare feet created in the sand and catching them before the waves licked them away. She was in a hurry to catch up. It was just a game, but it startled me. I don’t want my daughters to live in a state of haste the way I do. I want them to enjoy, relish, savor time. I want them to relax, to be still, to be content. Work-life balance is a tricky thing to strike. In some seasons of my life, it feels more aligned. This past quarter has been one of tiresome trudging. But I must remember that two little girls are watching and listening at every turn. And they are literally going to walk in the footsteps I create.