Being Here


Many of you are "too busy" to even read this.

I get it. I've been there.

I was a very busy lawyer once. There were phone calls to return immediately, briefs to revise immediately, court filings that were due immediately, and depositions for which to prepare. Immediately, of course.

For super-busy people, every phone call and email mandates an immediate response. Nothing is too unimportant. This is especially true for those who bill for their time; every moment spent talking to a colleague about their vacation or having lunch outside the office is another billable minute that has to be made up elsewhere. I can assure you that I don't miss having lunch with other lawyers who spend the last thirty minutes of our time together looking at their watch.

Cancer changed all that for me, as it does for most people. Everything that once demanded my immediate attention hardly gets the time of day from me now. Now I understand at the deepest level what is worth my immediate attention, what is meaningful, what really and truly matters.

Now I can pause for more than a moment to look at an old photograph on the bookshelf and relish the memory of a past Italian odyssey with my wife, or embrace the love I still hold for my now-gone companion of more than fifteen years -- his liquid black eyes looking out at me from the picture frame.

Now I am intensely aware of every soft breeze that touches my face and arms and neck when I sit outside on the deck. I can experience it in the moment. Nothing is more important, more worthy of my immediate attention. 

Now I understand that I can be here and not feel like I should be anywhere else, or that I'm missing something somewhere, or that there's something else I should be doing.

The world is such a tough place to be sometimes, and we often make it tougher by placing more and more demands on our overly-busy, stressed-out selves.

Making it easier is up to us.

Posted on September 6, 2016 .