This Friday, we’ll celebrate a Big Event at work. I have allowed preparations for the festivities to take over a rather significant portion of my life and mental space and use up most of my stress allowance. (Wouldn’t it be great if we really had a stress allowance and when we reached the end, we were cut off? Nope, sorry, that’s all the stress that you’re allowed this week.)
To counteract this, my mom has been sending me reminders every day of the things that are truly important, like love and smiles and miracles. We humans need a lot of reminders. The urgent easily sweeps us away from the important. I don’t know why. Anne Lamott quotes a friend of hers as saying, “Why is not a useful question.” It’s the way we are, no reason attached, like the way chocolate tastes better than broccoli.
I have not remained in a blissed-out state of gratitude all day every day because of her notes, but the people around me have probably breathed a little easier. For example, when someone has said, “I have a question for you,” I’ve replied, “No” with good cheer instead of snarling.
There will always be a next big event, and we can always forget the important stuff when deadlines loom. Important stuff includes wondering at the way light falls from the sky through those specific clouds on that spot in the ocean that will never look exactly the same again, accompanying your co-worker to the storage room because there might be rats and that is creepy, remembering that it is all gift and that it is important to treat each moment, whether it is in preparation for a big event or not, as the gift it is.
So let’s remind each other—of love, of beauty, of heartbreak and the healing that comes afterward, of friendship, of grace.