Tonight, as I was settling in after visiting my 92-year-old mom in the desert, I got to thinking about priorities. What is important? What do I value most?
Day to day life can become a blur with so much to distract us these days. Because I work from home, whenever someone says to me "Well, at least it's Friday!" I nod and think how long it's been since Friday meant something magical might happen…Sometimes if I don’t stop - sit down and close my eyes and breathe, I can get caught in the endless looping of days strung together with trying to be a decent parent to my kids, getting them to and from school, making dinner, walking the dog, doing dishes, laundry, the floors… just make sure I tap all the plates. I was listening yesterday to the radio replay the news reports live from New York as the scene unfolded. Then they played recordings of pilots talking to the control tower then silence… audio clips of people calling home from the 88th floor to say they loved someone very much, knowing they would perish in this catastrophe. I remember distinctly the morning getting a call from a dear friend to tell me to turn on the tv. As I watched this surreal event unfold still on the phone with my friend, the 2nd plane flew into Tower 2 right on live tv?! It was just so shocking that I had no words. The next few days I recall this welling up of patriotism all around me. There were people everywhere being of service in whatever capacity they could, on every channel the news following the first responders into the rubble of both towers to try to find survivors, I remember seeing flags going up everywhere. I remember at one point standing at the beach in a line holding hands with thousands of strangers – Americans. I remember that feeling of all of us being on the same team– no colors, no pronouns, no politics, no judgement = just the feeling that we were one nation strong. Everyone’s priorities shifted that day. We realized how precious this country of ours was.
That kind of apathy can creep up on us so easily. About those closest to us. Our family, our ex-husband/wife - who by the way we are still raising kids with - our friends that we just lost touch with (not even sure why). I don’t know why it’s so easy to forget our truest values and allow trivial matters to put a wedge between us as a country. Give us the 7.1 earthquake that happens at 4am and everyone runs outside and into the street and nervously meets their neighbors they have never spoken to before – those moments are not lost on me. I wish things didn’t have to STARTLE us to recalibrate us back to our essential shared humanity.