Every year my mom and I take a trip to the beach together. Basically, we spend sun up to sun down by the water. We take walks, listen to good music, and talk and laugh. I always feel rejuvenated when I get home.
What’s a little tricky about being a year round administrator is that there is always someone working even when you are not. As someone who strives to be responsive and dependable, stepping away for even a long weekend can be challenging.
I’ve tried almost everything. I’ve tried putting my email away message up. I’ve tried tying up lose ends. I’ve even tried telling other people to hold me “accountable” for stepping away. Supporting teachers continues to be one of the greatest honors of my life and one that I take very seriously. Our teachers are working hard and hustling in the classroom every day; I want to be a champion who hustles for them.
But in the midst of hustle culture, it’s easy to lose your priorities a little. Many of you may know that I lost my dad to Leukemia. I was in first grade when he died at the young age of 32 years old. Every year that I live past 32 feels like such a gift, and one that I take very seriously because while I’m living these years for me, I’m also living them for him since he never got the chance.
Sometimes, while my mom and I sit and look at the vastness of the ocean together, she will tell me stories about my dad. It’s usually one good story a year on these trips. It’s too sad to talk about it much more than a few minutes. So, when that story comes, I soak up every detail I can, wanting desperately to remember, so I can play that story over and over again in my mind. I do this not only to feel closer to my dad but so that I don’t forget. Because one day, hopefully a very, very long time for now, she won’t be around to tell me these stories anymore. And I know that I will want to remember.
On this most recent trip, Whitney Houston’s song, How Will I Know, came on, and she told me about how they went to see Whitney in concert while they were pregnant with me. She talked about how she remembered exactly where they were sitting because it was pretty close to the stage. And like she’s reminded me many times before, she spoke of how much my dad loved music, and how important it was to him that he knew the artists’ names. While this is a fact that I know, I like being reminded. It reminds me of long drives home on cool summer nights with the windows down and the music turned up. My dad would ask me, “Meghan, who sings this?” He loved quizzing me on the artists.
In these moments, those emails can wait. That thing that felt really important for work suddenly fades away. It can wait. Because what matters is now and us in this moment.
Perhaps in this exact moment, you find yourself worrying about something work related. In many cases, whatever that thing is, you probably won’t remember it or care about it five years from now.
I don’t want us to miss precious moments of this beautiful life worrying about little things.
Turn that song up, roll the windows down, take that walk with that person you love. Live your life fully in little moments. It’s all we have – these little moments.
Because in the end, we realize the little things were not so little after all.