It took me into my gray hair years to finally realize what it means to have a good relationship. It wasn’t an easy lesson to learn, but today I build new memories by living in the moment and trying to enjoy being in the present.
You see, when I was much younger, I’d visit my mother in a nursing home. Today they have much fancier names, like senior retirement centers, but you know what I mean. Every time I’d visit her, before I even walked in the door, I’d be thinking about when I had to leave. I’d greet my Mom with:
“Hi Mom, I have to leave at 3:00 so I can get to my next appointment on time.”
“Hi Mon, I have to leave at 4:00 so I can avoid the traffic.”
Throughout my visit, I’d keep one eye on the clock, making sure I wasn’t late for whatever was happening next. For whatever seemed so important at the time.
Now, 17 years later, I can’t visit my Mom anymore. She’s no longer here for us to share a laugh or a hug or even something as simple as watching her favorite TV show together. I can no longer feel her sitting next to me. And as I think back to our visits when I was always in such a hurry – I can’t even remember what was so important that I didn’t take the time to truly BE with her.
That was a hard lesson to learn. And because of that, today I am more aware of being in the present. More aware of enjoying the time I have with the people I love. Making time to have real conversations; to ask questions – and really listen to the answers.
It’s a whole new ballgame for me. I work hard at being in the present each and every day. And on those days when I fall back into my old habits, I get up the next morning and try again.