Saturday, August 10, 2013

Showing Up Matters

Shiny Strands, Barrington IL
We're all so busy... busy, busy, busy. That said, it matters that you show up.

Some friends recently opened a business- and because the idea sprung up in my workshop they kept me posted on the progress as it came along- so of course I was there with champagne opening day. Nice of me, sure-- but really equally as selfish because there is nothing nicer then sharing in someone's JOY.

It made a difference to have been there for me and I could tell for them to feel supported. You make a difference when you show up for someone and you should know it. Even if they can't relay it with as much appreciation as Carol and Kim did, people notice when you show up for them.

I'm good at funerals, not everyone is. They take an emotional toll to be there but I never leave one without a renewed sense of love of life and appreciation for how lucky I am. I also leave with a sense of frustration that I wish we could bottle the love people feel once they know that someone is gone and splash it around into the everyday. If we knew someone was going to be gone would we have made more of an effort to show up for them and love them while they were here?

Showing up at funerals matters. Showing up for friends going through a divorce matters. And for: weddings, babies, business launches, publishing days, etc. Kindness on either ends of the spectrum demonstrates what we value. 

There is no need to guilt ourselves into adding one more thing onto our plates to give ourselves a gold star- that defeats the point. But looking at our lives and seeing where our priorities line up is well worth the effort. TV, attending every kids sports practice, buying and maintaining more stuff, keeping up with the Joneses... is that what we want our lives to be about?

Remembering Megan Golf Outing
For a few years now a college roommate's family has held a golf outing to raise money in memory of her sister that died of suicide. I've never gone for various reasons but mostly because I don't golf. Last year she told me it bothered her many of her friends, and me in particular, had never come and it disappointed her. We can't show up for everything for everyone but knowing it matters to her I'm attending the dinner festivities (tonight as a matter of fact). She matters and I want her to know that.
[Update: Photo from the wonderful evening. Why had I waited so long?!]
More than a couple of folks I know have prioritized kids sports, bigger houses, stuff and appearances over connecting with their bodies, their spouses, their family, and their friends and now are sick, divorced, or lacking support when they need it. We all choose where and on what we spend our time and energy but I think it's wise to look at what that says about us every so often so we are showing up, whatever that means to us, for what matters.

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