In the midst of being a college student and preparing myself to go back to my busy school schedule, I realize just how much of the summer was spent being just as busy as the school year. I get so wrapped up in my jobs and my social life that I forget to take a step back and enjoy what should be important to me. I try my best to schedule my life so that I'm busy at least 14 hours a day. On my days off, I need to stay busy and get housework done or go shopping or have plans with my friends. If I'm sitting at home, I feel lazy.
It wasn't until my 90-year-old Russian Great-Grandmother set me straight. These days, Baba doesn't get to do much of anything. She's a tiny, old, white haired woman with a big heart and a lot of sass that stays in her house to put puzzles together and watch every news broadcast throughout the day. I make sure to spend as much time as I can with her and listen to the words she has to say. 90 years is a long time to be alive on this planet, so I can assume she knows this place better than most of us. Conversations with her mostly consist of her asking me what's new, and me replying with "nothing much" because explaining the latest technology or social media would simply take much more time and energy than I have to give.
This conversation with her was different.
Every year, the town next to us has a fireworks show for one of their festivals. She asked me to drive her the three miles just so she can sit in the car and watch them. Of course, I whip out my phone and go through my calendar to see if I have a spot available in my schedule for her. In the meantime she says, "You kids are always too busy to do the little things even when those little things are big to someone else." At first, I thought nothing of this and continued scrolling through the hundreds of color coded tasks that filled my calendar. Once I got to the date of the fireworks, her words hit me. I had to free a spot for her.
Then I realized how pathetic I was that I had to make time for my little old Great-Grandmother who just wanted to watch some fireworks in a car with her Great-Granddaughter on a Sunday night. My heart broke instantly.
I think the lesson of all of this is to slow down. Time is our enemy and before we know it, our color coded lives are going to be shriveled down to nothing. If there's ever a time where you have to choose between adult responsibilities or your family, always choose your family. Take time to relax and smell the roses. Take a walk every once in a while to clear your mind. GO SEE THE FIREWORKS. See a movie. Live your life to the absolute fullest, but don't make the "fullest" just be a packed work and school schedule with no time for fun.
Take my Baba's advice and do the little things, because those little things just might be big things to someone else.