Sunday, January 20, 2008

Separating the Necessary from the Urgent

This weekend we have spent time with dear friends of nearly 30 years.

One of those friends said goodbye to his mother for the last time on Wednesday. The once strong, energetic, productive woman who had spent her years on a farm was now at peace with the world.

I listened to conversations and watched as each person came by her to make their final statements about her impact on their life and on the lives of their children and grandchildren. She had time for a lot of generations. She used her sewing machine to the max as many testified of the clothing, quilts & crafts she had blessed them with through the years. She planted & harvested, cooked & canned, fed the multitude. She lived long enough to recognize and practice the necessary above the urgent and know the difference.

I wonder what would happen this day if each of us took 30 minutes to do something necessary instead of urgent. Would we recognize the difference? I think that the necessary takes practice & discipline above the urgent.

My parents are gone, there were words left unsaid on both sides. There was a lifetime of love mixed with a lifetime of trying to figure each other out. A lifetime of memories, a lifetime of learning & growing. 50 years? 60 years? 70 years? 80........ whatever time they had then or we now is still only a fleeting moment.

Today I am taking at least 30 minutes to really analyze the difference in the necessary & the urgent and try to separate them. I am scheduling a time to write to those I care about, call someone who is alone, give away some things I've been holding on to. Today I am taking time to embrace those I love... yes, we do have to schedule the necessary.

The urgent is disrespectful and will get as much time as possible.

Today I will reflect on what I might say to encourage someone right here, right now instead of saving the whole flowery speech for a quiet, hurting gathering at a funeral home.

Today I will celebrate life as deeply as I have mourned death. Freida understood the purpose & place for the old rugged cross - Today I will be thankful for her life and her lessons taught in her quiet, thoughtful, productive life. Today I will take time to appreciate the old rugged cross and the promises made there – today I will begin practicing recognizing, respecting & responding to the necessary, above the urgent.