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The Only Life You Really Have

“The days are long, but the years are short.” Gretchen Rubin – author of The Happiness Project

Whether they’re your own children or babies you once took care of in the NICU, watching kids grow up is an everyday lesson in the art of presence and the practice of letting go. They’re a living breathing reminder of the above quote.

(I remember the long days of having really young children, when it seemed like it might take a lifetime for them to learn to feed themselves, walk safely up and down stairs alone, ride a bike, sit still at a restaurant while acting mostly human…. then suddenly they’re in college or getting married. Kids are tricky like that.)

But there’s much more to Rubin’s quote. It’s realizing that all the little details of your day – some frustrating, some exhilarating – aren’t just part of your day, they ARE YOUR LIFE.

And the more consciously you use your senses to experience those details, the more intentional and colorful the mosaic of your life becomes.

Our culture talks more about saving for retirement than it does about how to live the only life you really have – which is right now, today.

Whether you’re doing your best to see all the patients on your caseload, cleaning up after your 4th of July picnic, or planning the course syllabus for your graduate students this fall – it’s happening. Life. This is it.

We can’t hold onto it, slow it down, or speed it up. We can only live it the best we know how in the moment.

Show up. BE there. Look someone right in the eyes when you talk to them. Let go of everything you can’t change. (Yea, that’s a lot of stuff.)

Be totally present for at least one interaction today. No one even has to know.

But I bet they will.