Today, I’d love to share a real life story about really living.
This month in the HELD coaching community we’ve been diving deep into the theme of rest. While at first it might sound like it’s all about taking days off of exercise (which it can be), that is only the tip of the iceberg. We’ve gone deep into how productivity, achievement, checking all the boxes, and doing “the most” have been tied to worth + identity, how to break free from that, how to embrace pleasure as a form of rest, how to truly value rest in all forms (physical, mental, social, soulful), and more.
One of the amazing members was sharing about the pressure to always be “doing” and maximizing every moment of the day + how this month was helping her to work through that so she could feel more present with her daughter.
I do a lot of coaching within HELD, but in that moment I had a memory that I felt compelled to share with her. Today, I’d love to share it with you, too:
I hear you about about those “life hack” articles that make you feel that you need to be “optimizing” every single moment in your life!
I’d love to share a really personal story with you here that I hope will encourage you to continue to have those messy, giggle-filled early lunches whenever you feel drawn to.
My dad passed away a few years ago from cancer and while I wish every single day that he was still here, there were a couple of true GIFTS that he gave me during his last few weeks here on earth.
One of them was an “end of life” perspective that has truly changed the way I evaluate my choices and the way I try to live my life (always a practice, never perfect).
In my last year as an attorney, my husband and I shared a car. For a long time we worked at neighboring buildings so we’d drive together but he got a new job that was 30 minutes away so I started walking a few miles or biking the few miles to work. Winter hit and it was SO cold. My dad started to drive to pick me up a few mornings a week and we’d go to this coffee shop, Pistacia Vera, before he dropped me off at work.
We’d sit and drink coffee and just chat for an hour or so on those mornings. At first, I wanted to tell my dad to pick me up a bit later – so I could use the mornings to “get things done” (workout, work on my coaching business that I was trying to build up at the time, etc). But, feeling so badly that he was driving all of this way to take me to work, I pushed the pressure to “do” aside and let myself be with him.
I can honestly tell you that those morning coffee dates with my dad are some of my most precious memories with him. Just the two of us, chatting about life. He and I share very similar spiritual beliefs (beliefs that I haven’t always felt others understood) and those conversations when we talked about God helped me to feel so seen by and connected to my dad.
Well, in the last few weeks of his life, my dad told me that those coffee dates were some of his favorite moments together, too. I don’t think my dad was afraid to die but I also know that he just wanted to do more of that: sitting, drinking coffee, talking, being together.
I know life can’t be one long conversation over coffee… but it can sometimes be that! And, I think we can become SO focused on “life hacks” and optimizing life that we don’t even realize we are hacking away at the moments where we could actually be living it.
If there are “life hacks” that help you to feel more fulfilled + experience more ease in your life so you have time for what matters most to you, then I think that is AWESOME! I say practice + embrace those! I know we all have things we need to do and get done — if we can have more ease in that, I welcome it.
But, if “life hacks” start to steal away the most precious moments, then I say FULL permission to let them go.
We don’t need to be optimized robots every second of the day! We’ve got lives to live. And, I love that you let yourself live in that beautiful “in between” moment yesterday.
If you’ve felt the pressure to be “on” or “doing” 24/7, I hope this will offer your some insight + encouragement that really living somethings requires us to truly be.