There were years that went by in my 30’s where I could count with one hand the number of times when I’d speak with my parents. Due to unexpected circumstances, I found myself living in another country, leaving my parents back home.
Initially, we’d talk everyday. That gradually turned to once a week and dwindled to once a month. Next thing you know, I allowed the trivialities of life to take over which made me pick up the phone on their birthday, my birthday, Christmas and a handful of times when I’d remember.
I allowed myself to forget.
One year, I decided to change things and I literally had to schedule it on my calendar. Every other weekend to start.
It was awkward at first. We grew apart from years of lack of regular conversations and I’d always feel nervous before I called. I was wondering what on earth could we possibly talk about. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But that’s how I felt.
But each time I called, the conversations would just flow. And next thing you know, we’d be yapping about anything and everything under the sun for at least an hour, sometimes two.
It feels great each time I talk to them. I was actually learning about all the little things going on in their lives and vice versa. Whereas if you asked me in my 30’s how my parents were, I would’ve drawn a blank.
I’m happy I made the change, as embarrassing as it is to admit that I had to schedule them on my calendar. Whatever, it worked.
There are many things in life that we neglect, usually all in the name of work or busyness. It could be people. It could be awkward conversations. It could be something related to your health. It could be a new project at work that never seems to get started. It could be ignoring a troubling turn in a relationship. It could be a decision in your career.
If you’re reading this, consider this a gentle reminder from the Universe, a cosmic nudge, to give them the attention they need.
Mark it on your calendar if you have to, like I did. Let that be your signal back to the Universe that you will handle it. Resolve it. Iron it out.
You don’t want years to pass by and deal with “neglect cleaning” which comes with the heavy weight of regret. Something previously seemingly small, something on your to do list, that you just put aside, set for another day - only that day never came. Something you just procrastinated on which snowballed into something that’s now almost impossible to rectify.
Take the time today to make a list of things you’ve been putting off. If that’s too wide a net, whittle it down into four categories:
Start with the things that typically stress you out. Or things you feel a pull back each time you think about it. Things you know you’d love to change but just don’t know the exact how’s right this moment.
It could be a talk with a family member, going to the gym, changing careers at age 40, spending time away from the kids to regain your sanity, working on a monumental project that could turn your life or career around…it could be anything.
Then one by one, make it happen.
Pick up the phone.
Enroll at the gym and schedule it, maybe just twice a week to start.
Schedule that weekend solitary retreat or a mini getaway with your girlfriends.
Draft that project.
How many times do we need to hear the phrase that life is too short?
Because it is.
And the only real time we have control over is NOW. Let’s make it count.
Time’s a ticking,
Lillian Too’s Mandala Member, Marge
P.S. Thank you to all of you who email us with messages of appreciation for these blog posts we've been putting out. It is humbling to know that we, even in some small way, just through words, can help ease the weight of what you're going through. Even just to let you know that you're not alone. We are all sailing the same boat. And you deserve to be reminded that there is hope. Life could be better. And there is peace to be found amidst the noise.
P.P.S. There is something brewing on our end. Something related to these emails we've been sending you. If you're interested in a crafting a well lived life, click here and we'll let you in on it once it's ready.
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