What happens when you stop mattering?
This question was on my mind yesterday after meeting a new client for the first time. This woman was someone who, for most of her life, had been a powerhouse. As a C-suite executive, she balanced her career with her roles as a wife and mother-of-three, and still made time to look after her health, travel, learn new things and maintain her friendships.
Now retired, with adult children and living on her own, her mind is torturing her, replaying things that were horrible, unfair and hard to deal with – events in her life that have left their mark. She reached out to me because she wanted my help getting her mojo back and feeling happy again.
What does this have to do with joy?
Talking to my client got me thinking about the passage of time and what my later years might be like – that, no matter what I do now, my usefulness in the eyes of society will diminish. My children will grow up and no longer need me – if anything, I’ll need them more – and my ability to do the things I currently enjoy may well decline.
It made me see how utterly vital it is to breathe joy into my everyday moments – if for no other reason than to practice the habit of bringing joy.
Seeing how many of my existing habits I still have to break in order to experience and bring joy to the moments of my life has made me realise that waiting for life to “get easier” simply isn’t an option.
Joy has to be chosen, cultivated and expressed in every possible way.
**Haha! So a quick interlude. I’m writing this while my husband and son watch football and my daughter does karaoke. In the minutes since I started typing this, I’ve huffed as my husband tried to talk to me because he interrupted my train of thought, and I’ve stormed upstairs after my daughter started singing a song I utterly despise.**
Case in point. It’s very easy to let our healthy, happy, family-filled days pass in a haze of irritation and frustration but if we don’t learn to make these moments the exceptions to the rule, we’ll have cultivated all the wrong habits to pull us through the later years when we’re spending more time alone, less time doing the things we love and more time looking back at how life used to be.
Or we might die early. That’s an option too. Sure, it’s dark. But it’s true. We don’t all get to do the full innings.
My hundred days of blogging may be over tomorrow but I’m nowhere near ready for my learning to stop, because whether I have a few hours or a few decades left to live, I’d love be someone who is grateful for every minute and not stomping off because I don’t like the sounds around me!