They huddled together for the family formal picture.
It was probably the closest they have all been since they were kids.
They stood side by side; the bride and her sisters…Mom and Dad.
Their shoulders were pressed against one another and they were smiling for the camera,
unaware of the gravity of that moment.
This family…who lived together for years in the same house…had endless talks over dinner…and shared tears and laughter was changing.
The last of their daughters was leaving the nest today.
I peered over my camera and said, ‘look Dad…you have all of your girls with you.’
They all looked at one another as if finally realizing that they were indeed standing next to some of the most important people in their lives.
He looked over to them and his eyes soften and a smile came to his lips. He turned back to me and said…
“My treasure. My treasure.“
Immediately, his wife brought her hand up instinctively to cradle his face.
This is my life. This is what I get to witness each weekend.
The moment and all that it means does not escape me. Ever.
I’ll be honest. I haven’t put first things first in a long while. There are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and when I feel like taking time to do something for myself…I instantly feel guilty – like I should be working.
I’m embarrassed to say that I neglected certain things, important things; family, friends and events.
I’m blessed to have a career in which I just don’t like what I do…I am madly in love with it.
As with any lover there are days when you can’t get enough. There are days when you’re consumed.
This past month, I have reflected a lot. I have been beating myself up thinking I should/could be a better mom, better wife, better daughter, better sister…and better friend.
Live life a little, well, better.
I think we are all looking for that bit of magic that will make our little lives a bit better…you know…the housekeeper, the shorter commute, extra time in the day, the smaller size pants.
If you really think about it though, it’s the people who surround us that make life….better. I know. Cliche.
So the experts tell us to be mindful of our work/life balance, have quality time – make dates and plan family nights. That’s awesome and all, but life for me is more than the big moments. It’s more than just the milestones and fancy dinners. Life is lived in the doing. In between commutes, work, laundry, dinner and mundane routines – life is happening. It’s passing us by quicker than we will ever realize.
So I made a vow. Care to join me?
Be present. Even in the mundane. Even in your sweats. Even with unkept hair and mac and cheese on the stove. Live those moments fully. Be your best then, not more so on date night. Appreciate who is sitting beside you and who is in your life right this minute. Give them your full attention. Hug them and never be the first to let go. Stare them in the eye and tell them everything you love about them. Every day. Even when you think they know. Especially when you think they know.
Because the treasurer of life…is a lot closer than we think.