Walking with Wisdom

Any time I go back to South Florida to visit, I am usually overcome by feelings of constraint. 

"There's not enough time," I think to myself. 

And I'm right. Even if I was in South Florida for an entire week, there would still not be enough time to do all that could be done. There would not be enough time to call on, or hangout with, everyone. And...I'm finally okay with that. 

The best way to combat overwhelm is to prioritize and have the proper perspective.

A couple weekends ago, I took a quick trip to South Florida. It was a busy time—I had an end of month deadline looming overhead, an event to attend, sisters and nieces to spend quality time with, an on-the-go brother I wanted a picture with, and parents who wanted to bask in the fact that their daughter was home, if only for a short time. 

I made it easy on myself. My people were my priority.

Yes, I had a work deadline but I decided to sacrifice sleep to make sure that I got my work done AND, more importantly, that the members of my family could feel my love for them. There were many examples of this over the weekend, but the time spent walking with my grandmother early Saturday morning was definitely one of the best. 

In Proverbs 8 Wisdom is personified as a woman. And of all the Amazing women in my life,  it is my maternal grandmother who best embodies that wisdom.

As a young teen—before high school and joining the cross county team—I used to spend my Saturday mornings running sidewalks, on the streets just outside the neighborhood, as my grams walked behind keeping a watchful eye. I would look back at her from time to time to make sure I was still in her line of sight. And if I felt that I was too far ahead I would run back to her side before sprinting ahead again.

When I was satisfied with my run, I would stop and walk beside her on the way back home. And I would spend those last 15 minutes soaking up whatever wisdom she had to offer me. Cliff notes include verbal cooking instructions (that would include a hands-on demonstration in the kitchen later on), and the importance of doing your best and being yourself. 

Our most recent walk reminded me of those pleasant memories. 

And although I was wearing my running gear, I decided my time was better spent walking at her side, than trying to fit in a rigorous running workout. We talked politics and climate change. We talked about what was different and what was the same. We talked about her. We talked about the world.

But mostly we enjoyed each other's company in the quiet of that Saturday morning. Half a century between us. (We always joke that I can never forget her age because she is 50 years older than me "Just add 50 to your age," she says...)

In some ways, I am still overcome by feelings of constraint. 

"There's not enough time," I think to myself. 

And I'm right. 

But it's not a shortage on time because of all there is to do. There will always be things to do.

No. The truth is, there's simply not enough time to BE with all the people we love most. And so we have to cherish every moment with them that we are given.