One of my dearest friends, someone who is active, youthful, and full of love and generosity scared all of us to death this week. She complained of feeling flu-like, swelling in her knees and generally tired. Next, she broke into a rash. The long and short of it was she was attacked with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, a deadly disease carried by ticks.
Because this friend is in such good condition and rarely sick, most of us ignored her complaints. I, for one, thought she might have wanted an excuse not to walk with me as planned. I looked at her swollen knees but saw nothing that struck me. Instead I marched on with my life not giving it another thought until it was almost too late.
She’s not out of the woods, but this experience gave me a wake-up call. We are all so busy with our worlds that we often forget about living. Here are some tips for learning to live in the moment.
Really pay attention to their entire communication–eyes, facial expressions, gestures–not simply their words.
If you are running around doing the world’s bidding and a friend calls with an emergency, that friend comes first.
Do it now.
You don’t have to do more than send a card or pick up the telephone to bring a smile into someone’s life.
As a writer, I know how important focusing is.
Don’t focus on the next big project. Sometimes later is never.
These are a few of the lessons I learned after this wake-up call. What might you add? Do you have a similar story you’d like to share?
MJ LaBeff says
What a beautiful post to help remind all of us that in this world of social media, texts, emails and over multitasking it is important to set it all aside to really listen and keep the human touch we often abandon for more speedy communication. I’m sorry to hear about your friend and wish her well. She’s lucky to have a friend like you- a friend who is really there for her now. Thank you for reminding me not to allow my own ambitions to come before friends and family- it’s so easy to get caught up writing and tangled up in the world that is a writer’s life. Keeping it all in perspective…
Matthew Peters says
Thanks so much for this reminder, Joan. It’s very easy to lose touch with what is really important in life. All the best to you and your friend.