“What’s Important Now?” Revisited
“Every day during our personal and professional lives we are faced with a number of critical choices and decisions. Our responses to those choices, the decisions we make, have a lasting impact on our health, our relationships, our careers and our finances. In order for us to achieve excellence in our lives we must ask ourselves this simple, but powerful question throughout every day – What’s Important Now?”
– Brian Willis, Life’s Most Important Question
What stops you in your tracks?
Something that causes you to pause a moment and say to yourself, “Hmmm…this is important. What might I be wise to take from this moment?”
In other words, a reality check.
My day was momentarily halted a few weeks ago, when I smack in the middle of completing a work task. I was e-mailing a few of my Etsy shop customers to let them know about a new product we had just launched. Since they had previously purchased similar products from me in the past, I thought they might be interest in our latest offering.
I was right; some customers were interested – and placed an order for the new product.
What I hadn’t banked on, however, was a heartfelt e-mail exchange with one of my favourite customers.
“Thank you for letting me know about the new quote card set, Maryanne,” she e-mailed back. “I will be sure to check those out! I am a little busy at the moment because I was just diagnosed with stage four esophagus cancer and am undergoing pretty aggressive treatment.”
My heart sank.
Her next sentence broke my heart: “But I will be ordering more of your Life After Loss quote cards,” she wrote, “because they are a perfect gift to give to people at the funeral.”
The funeral? I had to read that line twice before I realized she was referring to her funeral.
This stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know this woman. We’d never met. We’d never spoken on the phone. All I knew about her was that she had purchased multiple products from my Etsy shop over the years. So I liked her!
But I am getting to know her a tiny bit now. We have kept in touch via Instagram over the past few weeks. I love seeing the photos she posts of her family and garden. I check in with her periodically and she keeps me up to date on her progress with the cancer treatment. I love how honest she is about the horrors of chemo…and how incredibly difficult it is to be preparing to leave the people she loves.
None of us know what’s around the next corner – either in our own life, the lives of our loved ones, or in the lives of people we barely know…and yet whose paths have crossed with ours for some reason.
I hope with all my heart this woman has a full recovery and the treatment is effective. Unfortunately, I have no control over that outcome (other than sending plenty of healing thoughts her way!). I do, however, have control over my response to her health crisis and the courage, grace, and fierceness with which she is handling it.As such, I am choosing to use the crossing of our paths as a reminder to pause a moment – every single day – and give thanks for my health, for I am blessed beyond belief in that department. Click To Tweet
Another thing I am taking from our encounter is a reminder to ask myself this question, multiple times throughout my day:
“What’s Important NOW?”
One of my mentors, Brian Willis, shared this powerful question with me years ago. I have blogged about it in the past (links to those blogs are at the bottom) and have shared it with many people over the years.
Here is the link to Brian’s site, “Life’s Most Powerful Question.”
The question is brilliant…because it works to help keep us on track with what is REALLY important to get done today – not just what’s next on our to-do list.
As the COVID-restrictions continue to ease up, it is easy to slip back into the go-go-go busyness. But I dare say the pandemic has slowed me down (so has the heat wave!) and I’m a better person for it. Yes, I am busy. Yes, I am productive. But I am also much more cognizant of what I choose to do to fill my days…or not fill them!I am continually re-prioritizing throughout the day the tasks that really need to get done. The list is often surprisingly short. Quality over quantity is my new mantra. Click To Tweet
Who do I need to text or book a time to chat with? Who could use a listening ear (just not for three and half hours!)? Who could I send an encouraging (or congratulatory) e-mail, text or card to? Or perhaps unplugging for a quiet day of writing, resting, reflecting and walking on the beach, or in the woods, is what I need most right now…so I can refill my tank to share with others.
Unfortunately, there are several special people in my life (some of whom might be reading this blog) who are coping with significant health issues. My heart goes out to those people (and the millions more around the globe) who are having to face the fact that their time here may be significantly shorter than they had hoped.
We cannot wave a magic wand of good health for all. But we can take a moment to observe (and have empathy for) the challenging journey of others to help us remember what really matters in our own lives…and perhaps ask ourselves: “What’s Important Now?”
Then do whatever it is we need to do next. For every moment counts…let’s make each one matter 😊
Related Blogs by Maryanne
Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a Director with the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive her blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.