Live Like You Were Moving
A Tim McGraw song that’s a favorite of mine is “Live Like You Were Dying.” If you are unfamiliar with the song, it’s a reminder to live intentionally, fulfill those dreams that are easy to put off for another day, and make sure those close to you know how much you appreciate them.
I might not have a fatal diagnosis, but I do hear the clock ticking away at my time left.
To some, those words can be exhilarating. Time for a fresh start. A clean slate. A new chapter. New beginnings are so exciting, but sometimes frightening too.
To others, those words can be feel like a death sentence. It’s the end of life as you currently know it. Your head swirls with questions like: What about my friends? My community and my mom-tribe I can’t live without? How can my kids say goodbye to their friends? Will they make new friends? How will my business thrive with my team being so far away? Where will we live…?
I have had all of the above feelings and more. My thoughts and emotions have been a complete roller coaster since my husband and I agreed to a move. We decided that cutting down his commute drastically would improve his work/life balance, and in turn, positively affect our family. We decided that our kids, 12 and 9, would benefit tremendously from having relatives within a short driving distance. Many factors went into our decision making process, but being near family trumped everything else. And it ultimately outweighed all of the selfish reasons I wanted to stay put with my very comfortable life as I know it.
Fortunately, we’ve had the luxury of planning this out months ahead of time. Having done a cross-country move just 6 years ago, I knew that in preparing for this event, the days would turn into weeks, then months, then all of a sudden moving day would be here in a flash. I didn’t want my last months here to be a blur. I love this place and these people too much!
I need to make these last days here count. But how will I find the time? We have to find a place to live, I have to figure out where my kids will go to school, I need to purge all the things I don’t want to pack and move, I might need to buy new things for a new house I don’t even have yet, I also need to squeeze in work during all of this, and oh yeah, then there’s MOMMING, which is an all-consuming job in and of itself!
It is SO easy to let the list of to-do’s run my life, but I have to stop. And breathe. And decide to be intentional with my time. You see, intentionality doesn’t just happen. The very definition of the word is “on purpose; deliberate…planned, calculated, prearranged…” You will never accidentally be intentional. We have to make it happen.
My first attempt at being intentional about our time left here was with my husband and kids. I sat them down on a Saturday afternoon and handed out pieces of paper with BUCKET LIST written across the top. What are the things we want to see/do/accomplish before we go? Mind you, moving day sounded like it was far away at the time, so I must admit that our lists were pretty aggressive in what a family (with a working husband, kids in school) could check off in that amount of time. Universal Studios? Sure! Sequoia National Forest? Of course! Tahoe one more time? Why not? Bend, Oregon before we leave the Northwest? Let’s go! I will admit that we have yet to cross off one of these items but it was a nice attempt and a good hands-on exercise for my kids to grasp the concept of our finite time left here.
So, due to the hubby’s job and kids in school thing, I couldn’t really control tackling those bucket list items, but I could decide to control my time. I value relationships. My love language is “quality time.” So even though it’s very hard for me to step away from a million things I could be doing to prepare for “the move,” I want and need to make time with these cherished friends that I will miss so much. They feed my soul. And my soul might be a little hungry for a while in my new city as I navigate new friendships.
You know “those people” who you genuinely like but you never spend time with, and every time you see them you say “We should get together soon!” And if you’re like me, you have great intentions but plans are never made, then you see them at the grocery store again and say the same thing about getting together. Well I’m making plans with THOSE PEOPLE!
I’m carving out time with these women who inspire me, challenge me, and generally just make me feel good just being around them. I’m planning walks, lunches, and girls nights with small groups of these women, family BBQ’s, and couple’s double dates with those who have been a support for our family these past several years. These are the things I will take with me; the strong relationships that I hope to be able to continue to lean on in years to come.
In a way, a long goodbye seems like something I have to suffer through, but in actuality, it is a gift to have the time to spend with those who have impacted this season of my life. Every day is a challenge for me to get off my computer, step away from work or housework, and decide to do something intentional with my time left with someone who matters to me.
I am also trying to be intentional with my words to let them know how much their friendship has meant to me. I’m trying to live by one of our sayings for The Love Bank, which is “never let loving thoughts go unsaid.”
Life is short. Seasons of life are shorter. Make them matter. Live like you were moving.