The first time I went into public by myself after the death of my husband was to run a few errands. I went to a shopping center to pick up a few things.
I don’t know why I noticed people more than usual. Maybe it was because I was just more sensitive than before. Maybe my perception of life had changed.
That day, I saw some very stressed, unhappy and harried folks. It was still early in the day when you would think life would be easy going. This was after coffee, the kids are in school and you can get on to your time of day.
I saw people standing in the line to get checked out of the stores that were impatient. Looking at their watches. Not impatient with the check out person, just worried about time and pressures of their “to do lists”. I saw toddlers being dragged around stores that were certainly not happy about their situations.
Store after store, I observed these unhappy people. Seemingly upset over mundane lists and life-centered problems. They seemed to be preoccupied with daily errands and were stressed about chores so early in the morning.
I finally could take it no more. In between stops, I parked and had a good cry. I wanted to turn to these people and shout, “STOP, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IS IMPORTANT!” Did they realize that those lists and those errands would be of no importance in a blink of an eye if they lost a loved one?
I wanted to shake them and say, “GO HOME AND HUG YOUR HUSBAND. CARESS THAT TIRED TODDLER. LISTEN TO THE TALES OF YOUR SIX YEAR OLD”. We take for granted that they will be there tomorrow and we will have more time.
In reality, we all get caught up in the necessities of living. We all have obligations to fulfill. Some we care about and some we do not. But there has to be a balance.
You have to put the love of God, the love of your special partner and the love of family at the top of the list. All of the rest is filler. Also, it cannot take more of the time and energy than you are willing to give.
Knowing how to balance so that we aren’t stressed and that we can face each day relaxed and at peace. I will guarantee that a morning prayer asking God to give us the grace to live an unstressed day and a day that focuses on the right things will be the answer.
Start by thanking Him that you have awakened to see another sunrise and that you will welcome Him by your side in all of your chores. Ask Him to guide you in a balanced, loving day.
You will be amazed at how life takes on a different meaning.