The key question to keep asking is, "Are you spending your time on the right things?" Because time is all you have.
lately, i feel as though i have no time. life is hectic. i won't allow myself to complain too much, because 1) i'm coming off a long sabbatical that most people don't get and 2) i am grateful.
life is busy. work is hectic, and the days are both long and exhausting. i'm moving to a lovely new home over the next few weeks, and i am dreading packing and hauling all my ish. in order to make up for lifeless, workful weeks, i've been having a lot of fun on weekends not getting a lot of rest. and i'm exhausted. but back to being grateful.
i have to remind myself to come back to gratitude, regardless of where my mind and my feelings wander. i've been meaning to tell you something: two weeks ago i had to rush to divorce court to fill in for a senior attorney at my firm. (an emergency situation arose, and while i am not a divorce attorney, i can handle pretty much any type of hearing in a pinch, with little prep time.) i introduced myself for the first time to "my" client, who is going through a devastating divorce after more than thirty years of marriage. i know it's devastating to her, because i've read her file. surprisingly, legal files can hold so much information about people, including their heartbreak.
i guess i expected the old woman to be sad and stressed. but when i asked the lovely woman how she was, on what i already knew was a very stressful court date for her, her response was, "I'm grateful," she said to me. "I'm not happy to be in court, but I'm happy."
i've been thinking about that client often. she and i had a nice connection that afternoon -- partly because she is an old woman and old women love me (especially black women. you have no idea. i told you before that i think in a previous life i was a sassy black woman, right?) also, partly because we sat in the back of the courtroom and chatted about gratitude and perspective. i told her about my new job, which is running me ragged. i told her that i'm happy to be working and learning a lot. we really got each other, and she's not the first old lady who really gets me. (remind me to tell you about Dianne from Pittsburgh.)
last week, our lovely client visited the office for an appointment, and she popped into my office to say hello. "I was hoping to see you, Matthew!" she said with the loveliest smile i had seen all week. also, her skin is gorgeous. 70 years young. black don't crack. "I just wanted to check in and see how you are." she's checking in on me? my firm is supposed to be taking care of her.
i'm grateful for that lovely old lady. i want to be like her. well -- not an old divorcee, but -- you know. keeping gratitude in my heart and on my face despite challenges. despite an insane job, despite the stress of packing and moving, despite the ups and downs of everyday life, despite just a hint of loneliness since i've had neither the time nor the patience to date in the past two months. TMI? whatever.
i'm also grateful for the Pottery Barn Outlet, which is amazeballs. i got beautiful new bedding for my new apartment today, including a ridiculously posh faux-sheepskin throw blanket that is to die for (and that Atti will probably try to murder because it's so life-like).
so that's how i am. i'm grateful. and when you ask me how i am, i hope i remember to tell you so. because sometimes life is so busy that gratitude is really all you have.