Describing Things As They Are Part 9: Meaningful Things
I know you’re busy. We all are. There are bills to pay, checkbooks to balance, photos to take, articles to write, babies to watch, salespeople to call, orders to make, emails to answer, problems to solve.
You have so much going on—how could you possibly have a minute for a casual chat, for a long-winded email to a friend across the country, for a cup of coffee and a hug?
Believe me, I get it. ‘Busy’ is the name of the game. We have to be constantly moving, constantly doing, constantly filling our time otherwise we’re stagnant, right? Our society says ‘go go go,’ or else you’re falling behind. But honestly, sometimes I can check off so many items from my to-do list and still feel like I’m not doing enough. I can go, and do, and accomplish, and yet at the end of the day, I’m still unfulfilled.
Until I make time for meaningful things.
Meaningful – Is the conversation you have with a stranger when you’re waiting at a ticket, bus or supermarket line maybe at the stoplight. Is the smile exchanged with the cashier who rings up your groceries. Is the minute you take to reach down and scratch a little puppy or cat behind his ears.
Meaningful – Is the intentional response to a comment on your photograph or post. Is the answer to a direct message from a person who’s crying out for guidance. Is the extra minutes you spare after class to re-explain a problem to a struggling student.
Meaningful – Is tagging someone’s art when you share their work. Is telling someone they matter, simply because they deserve to know how you feel. Is reminding the ones you love that they are noticed. Is calling someone, just because.
Meaningful – Is asking someone how they’re doing, and then waiting patiently for their actual response. Is putting down your phone when you’re having a conversation. Is taking a few minutes to just breathe before starting your day. Is complimenting someone without expecting anything in return.
Meaningful – Is being there for someone who doesn’t expect you to be. Is engaging in a face-to-face conversation instead of texting or avoiding the confrontation altogether. Is going out of your way to do something kind, even if it’s not appreciated or even noticed.
Meaningful is being intentional, is making the most out of this beautiful, imperfect life.
So make time for meaningful. Carve aside a moment for meditation in the morning. Call your mother on the commute to work. Text your best friend just to check in, and respond right away when he or she answers.
Close your eyes and be thankful. Listen to someone vent to you without looking at your phone. Be there, I mean be there when someone needs you. And instead of always thinking about what you can gain, think about what you can give.
Life is so short, and passes even quicker when we’re so busy filling our days with to-do lists, expectations, goals, rules, and plans. Don’t get caught up in the rush, so much that you forget what really matters. Don’t worry so much about what you’re ‘supposed’ to do that you lose sight of the only things that last.
Sometimes you have to break the ‘rules’ to be a good person—so put aside the projects and make time for what matters. Your future self will thank you.