Saturday, March 7, 2009

Let the Priorities Rise

Today as I was running my baby-steps-but-someday-a-5k-will-be-possible workout, I found myself quite happy. It has been a rough couple of weeks, and I still have a lot of backed up tasks and to-do's on my plate, but as is usually true in such times the important things are small and physical and real.

Let the priorities rise. That's my mantra this week, and for the next several.

A friend of mine died this week. Suzie was a friend I'd made at work a number of years ago, a friendship complicated by the heightened tensions of a workplace that was very psychologically unhealthy, and by my role as her boss. Until recently, she and I had not spoken for years, not since I left that job and she found that her loyalties were divided (inappropriately, and I feel partially responsible for that) because of the circumstances around my leaving. It was an ugly time, and it was not a time I'm proud of. But we are humans who screw up, and leaving that job was one of the best things that has happened to me as a person - I learned so much about myself, and it freed me to realign my goals and realize several of them.

But I digress. Two weeks ago, after Suzie received her final diagnosis from her doctor, she phoned. I returned her call, and as easily as we had halted our friendship, we resumed it. There were apologies, and tears, and laughter. The next night I went to see her, and she was so sick - but her eyes were the same huge pools of blue and her laugh was as easy as ever. She told me her stories of that workplace I'd left, and they were predictably maddening. She told me her plans for her service, in some detail. She lit up like a lantern when she described her grandchild. And now, it's days later and she is gone. Quietly, in her sleep. She was 57.

Do you ever feel the universe is trying to tell you something - insistently? Do you ever feel that you are stubborn for not listening, or stupid for not obeying, or dense for not understanding? Do you ever wonder if all the time we spend trying to figure out the connections, the message, the lesson, would be better spent simply picking up the phone and reconnecting with people we've let slip from our lives?

As is my wont these days, all of the moments that are difficult i am also finding clarifying. There is clarity in seeing pettiness, in recognizing mistakes I've made, in opening myself to the reality that this life is the only one we're assured of.

Be well, and let the priorities rise in your own lives.

~ patti