I have this really wise friend who often says to her kids “People first; people come before things.”
And I think I need someone in my life to say it to ME more often.
You see, I am not good at putting people first. I’m learning, and I’m trying, but it doesn’t come naturally.
I think because of the craziness that life with littles can be, I can get really caught up in my plan – my how-to-make-it-through-the-day plan. (And a plan is a good thing. But I’m realizing it can start to come before people…not so much a good thing.)
The problem is I get so set on bringing in my laundry during naptime, that I start to really resent when the neighbour wants to chat over the fence.
Or I get it so ingrained in my head that we’ll run an errand after nap and before dinner, that I almost say no when a friend asks if we want to meet at the park.
Or I’m so anxious to get that room tidied up while James is out with the boys, that when someone stops by that I haven’t seen in years, I brush her off and say I have to get such-and-such done.
Next week, or next year, I probably won’t remember that I left the laundry on the line too long and it got damp. But I will remember that my neighbour poured her heart out about how hard it is growing old and how sad she is that her husband is on wait lists at five different nursing homes and how her eyes teared up when she said “I love my husband. And he will go, and he will never come back.”
Next week, or next year, I probably won’t care that we went to the park and didn’t get to the store today instead of tomorrow. But I will care that I got a chance to enjoy a beautiful fall day with my boys at the park and catch up with a friend I haven’t seen in awhile.
Next week, or next year, I probably won’t remember just what it was I was trying to do when that person stopped by…but I’ll still remember being brisk and feel guilty about it.
So, hard as it may be, I’m trying to slow down and savour the people who cross my path. I’m sure I won’t regret it.
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