I don't get out with the girls too often, but last night was the second time in a month that I've seen a few of my high school friends. Through those girls nights out, I found out that an acquaintance of mine who is a mother of three elementary school age children is having health issues. The bottom line --- she has cancer and was given three to five years to live.
What do you do with that information? How do you even begin to process that as a wife, as a mother, as just a human being? I think it's different if you are given a short period to live, like six months. In that case, you decide what you want to do and then you get out there and do it because that time is going to fly. But five years? That's a whole different banana. How much of that time will you be well? What is your quality of life going to be like? How do you keep yourself going mentally and not get depressed? What would I want to teach my kids? How would I want to spend my time? I know I'm going to be dwelling on this one for days. I cannot stop thinking about her and her family.
Coincidentally, I just finished Bethenny Frankel's book, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life. This is a self help book with very typical advice (like "Act on it." and "Separate from the pack.") made unique and interesting again by having Frankel's life experiences intermingled in it. Who knew that she had been an actress, a production assistant for the show Saved by the Bell, an event planner, a pashmina seller, a healthy cookie baker, and on the Martha Stewart version of The Apprentice before landing on The Real Housewives of New York without even being a housewife! I was really inspired by her ability to keep pushing even after failing, sometimes spectacularly, time after time.
Again, this book made me think---what is really important in life?
I think Frankel's best bit of advice in the whole book was "Everything's Your Business." On one hand, she was referring to cultivating yourself as a brand. But she goes on to say:
"When I say everything's your business, I mean treat everything you choose to do with as much importance as if your career depended on it. Everything's your business means that every job, person, and experience is worth your full attention. Whether you are at work or cooking dinner or cleaning your apartment or reading a book to your child, make what you do matter, and do it well."
This spoke to me. This is what is important in life. Make every moment matter. I am guilty of splitting my attention or nodding and saying "uh-huh" when I'm not really listening or doing things half way or not at all if I think I might fail. I want what I'm doing to matter today when I'm gone because I listened and I acted and I loved.
I'm still doing the Total Mom Makeover, but in this case I am going to do it half way. My friend Michelle told me that maybe the reason I don't have much to write about some of the tasks is because I'm already there. Maybe I don't need a Total Mom Makeover...maybe just a Partial Mom Makeover! So I've decided to do the parts of the book that are actually going to benefit me instead of doing the whole thing and have it be an exercise in futility.
In that spirit, the exercises for over the weekend were to develop an AM and PM routine. I have both of those already. Do I do them as written everyday? No. I am especially bad with the PM routine because I hate doing dishes. Sometimes the dishes just get left until the next morning if I have an especially large pile of pots and pans. In the end though, I think they can still work with some finessing.
The Week 2, Day 1 tasks were to do the following:
-Create a sanctuary (get off your butt and make your bedroom clean and nice looking)
-Move your body (do some stretching in the morning to get yourself moving)
-Drink up (get your hydration on!)
-Squeeze in a nap (YAY!)
-Graze (she advocates eating healthy snacks like fruits and veggies throughout the day)
-Take your vitamins (she's a B vitamin fan)
- Breathe (do some deep breathing to start your day)
She also suggested writing down things that were sapping your energy and coming up with ways to attack those in a positive fashion. She also wanted you to make your bed when you get up.
This all felt pretty basic to me (which I guess is why Week #2 is actually called "Basic Mom." Really it is.) I'm feeling pretty good about these areas although the top of my dresser could use a 15 minute clean up and running the vacuum through there couldn't hurt.
I found the Week #2, Day #2 tasks to be a little R rated so I'll let you read that yourself if you're interested. My blog is geared towards education, but not necessarily sex education, so if you want the author's advice about how to get down and dirty with your loved one feel free to consult pages 63-71.
So live in the moment today, my friends! You never know how long it's going to last. Give your little ones big hugs tonight...