Get A Life
From Rachel Petrich:
Hello Ladies: A good friend of mine writes what she calls The Last Word. Of course, it never is the last word on any subject. Rather it is a reflection on some part of life and how we fit into it. The following are some thoughts about life balance. When I read it, I could not help but reflect on all the ways that ASWA, and all my friends within this great organization, have helped me achieve a small part of what Karen writes about. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.
Get A Life. . . . . . .
Some thoughts I had after my accident last year.....
Real life is all I know. Don't ever confuse the two, your life and your work. The second is only part of the first.
I don't ever forget the words my father told me one year "If you win the rat race, you're still a rat." Or what John Lennon wrote before he was gunned down in the driveway of the Dakota: "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans."
There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree; there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life - Your particular life -Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but also your soul.
People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the test results and they're not so good.
Here is my resume:
I am a good mother to two children. I am a terrific grandmother to six grandsons and an "unknown" grandchild (coming soon). I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent and grandparent.
* I no longer consider myself the center of the universe.
* I show up.
* I listen.
* I try to laugh. I don't take life too seriously - my accident taught me that.
* I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout standing in the corner. But I call them on the phone.
I would be rotten or, at best, mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are. So here's what I want to tell you:
Get a life, a real life, not a manic pursuit of the next promotion, the bigger paycheck, the larger house. Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the water, a life in which you stop and watch how an eagle circles over the water, or the way a baby scowls with concentration when he tries to pick up a Cheerio with her thumb and first
finger. Get a life in which you are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you. And remember that love is not leisure, it is work. Pick up the phone. Send an e-mail. Write a letter. Get a life in which you are generous. And realize that life is the best thing ever, and that you have no business taking it for granted. Care so deeply about its goodness that you want to spread it around.
All of you want to do well. But if you do not do well, then doing well will never be enough. It is so easy to waste our lives, our days, our hours and our minutes. It is so easy to take for granted the color of our kids' eyes, the way the melody in a symphony rises and falls and disappears and rises again. It is so easy to exist instead of to live. Consider the lilies of the field. Look at the fuzz on a baby's ear. Read in the backyard with the sun on your face. Learn to
be happy. And think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it ought to be lived. You can learn all those things, out there, if you get a real life, a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears, and heart open.
Now -I can't resist being a teacher: The classroom is everywhere. The exam comes at the very end.
Be safe.....have a great day!