Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Claudia and 525,600 minutes

My day was SPECTACULAR....Debbie and I met up at the Temple for a little ~TLC~....My goal for the day...Clarity, Inspiration and Service...I reflected back to my Sunday school lesson this past Sunday, the lesson was overcoming Adversity. Websters Dictionary defines Adversity as a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty.

At one point I asked those in my class if anyone had experienced adversity during the past week...a few hands went up, most heads dropped, the silence was deafening. Those who had the courage to share...talked of fighting cancer, the surgery of a 6 year old grandson, employment that was lost, families on the brink of financial collapse. Every family feeling some overwhelming challenge...

For me the Temple is the best place to seek understanding and clarity. A place where I feel close to the spirit..prayers are offered, prayers are answered. I leave feeling inspired and renewed.

I have a dear friend in my ward, her name is Claudia. We hug and laugh every time we see each other only to say...We really need to make the time to GET TOGETHER then we let days, weeks and months slip by without rescheduling. She is absolutely an angel. Her smile is contagious, her heart always open, her hands always busy helping another..she is a legendary woman having the qualities of a hero, a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities... she is brave, strong and in the fight of her life.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in early July. Her cancer is aggressive and uninvited..I have thought of her often since hearing the news...I knew she was having surgery Monday..and decided it was time for our play date. I hate that feeling of....I wish I would have done...talk to sooner, called before now, written a letter...apologized....if only.... I went right from the Temple to Banner Desert to spend time with my friend, she was thrilled to see me.

She is a beautiful woman with the most amazing hair...her hair is her trademark..always in a very cosmopolitan bob...always perfect..Her hair is the envy of all. We embraced...we laughed...we cried....she was generous to share her story, feelings, emotions, dreams, fears, concerns and her afternoon with me. I was so humbled sitting there listening....I choked back tears while looking away for a quick second...I found myself trying to catch my breath....Claudia and I were discussing REAL LIFE and Death issues...her cancer became all to personal to me. We would be talking...about the little things...when a gust of emotion would blow in and suck the oxygen out of the room...Claudia would apologize for tearing up...I just held her while she cried, feeling helpless..Her day had been long, a day of additional testing...poking, prodding, emotionally she was spent.

She talked about her ~BUCKET LIST~...the summer projects she really wanted to start and finish...she talked about her sweet husband..and how worried she is about him...she talked about her time in Utah with all of her kids.. she talked about her sweet little elementary school kids, she is worried about not being there on the first day of school, she is worried about losing her hair...she wasn't going to tell her children...the she told me ..."I need their prayers!". What Claudia has is an extraordinary husband...Randy is her best friend, he is right there with her, her children and extended family, her ward family and numerous friends who will fast, pray and watch miracles unfold.

We talked about how sudden life can change. I took a rare moment to spend on myself a couple weeks ago...just to get reacquainted with myself...and reflect on my feelings about life, how I spend my time, what is mission critical, what is NOT...learning to incorporate love, gratitude,service, forgiveness in everyday living.

I am adding a post I wrote for The Bella Life...Enjoy...and take a minute to inventory your ~To Do List~...focus on Mission Critical....let go of...doesn't matter...

525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

I took a personal liberty this afternoon; I decided I was going to spend the afternoon with myself. This chance meeting presented itself after weeks of relentless work and longer hours. I needed to decompress, regroup and recharged my overloaded and dead batteries. I felt the need to nourish my spirit and breathe.

I have always had a love affair with the sun. I love to sit outside and feel the warm rays penetrate my entire body. For me the sun has been a constant companion; encouraging my healing, helping me pause and take notice of the life going on around me - which creates the center of my universe.

Armed with my Ray Bans, i-pod, beach towel and bottle of water, I set out for the pool to find myself. No sooner had I slipped into the water…my i-pod on shuffle, I heard Donny Osmond start to sing….”Season’s of Love” from Rent.

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

I found myself reflecting on 525,600 minutes…sounds like a lot…Yet every year those minutes become more precious and fleeting. I wonder how many of those precious minutes I spent worrying about a situations that never came to pass, finances, my kids, my parents, my work…Time is marching by daily…never stopping to wait for me.

As the words to the song continued to play…I found myself smiling… I asked myself how you, Carla, measure a year. Here is my version of …”Season’s of Life”… In daylights, in sunsets, in laughter, in tears, in friendships, in touches, in hugs, in kisses, in kindness, in prayers, in gratitude, in service, in teaching, in learning…Every minute of every day can be filled with non essentials, like worry, fear, loneliness, anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.

As women we center our universe around our children, spouses, and employers; providing constant care and nurturing everyone except ourselves. By the end of the day, week, month and year there is no more energy to expend on ourselves. We are exhausted, frustrated, angry, resentful and weighed down..

Ladies…this is no way to live the measure of your creation. There is no shame in nurturing yourself. You cannot fully love another until you fall in love with yourself. Start today by taking the time you need to understand who you are, what you need and how you plan to embrace and make use of your 525,600 minutes…


Live with intensity and purpose.

1 comment:

Brett and Em Randall said...

out here where im working constantly i feel like i have no time for myself.... probably cause i dont, im always on the doors or with brett. I cant wait to get home and lay out in the warm sun, sleep in enjoy making a meal and not be rushed. my bucket list for the rest of the year is to travel to hawaii, ive wanted to go forever and im going to go. I also want to craft more and find things that i really enjoy. i need to start singing again. singing brings me so much joy, especially when singing with my sisters, im going to take time to do these little things in life that make me who i am.