Saturday, September 27, 2003

"Don't go through life, GROW through life." - Eric Butterworth

A quote I must have read 100 times and each time, depending on where I'm at in my life, I see something new. I go through this exercise at the end of each day where I revisit the day and ask myself what it is I learned that I didn't know did I grow as an individual? In my work I meet the most wonderful people. Oh many would say they're ordinary every day people trying to get through life like the rest of us....that there's nothing extraordinary about them. Not so. I learn from each and every one. I find hidden humour, strength of character, courage, a soft heart in a rough exterior....I find caring, warm individuals all wanting to be themselves, yet many worrying about putting on a facade of who they think they're expected to be. A HUGE waste of energy when they can just be themselves.

And as I learn from them even as I teach, I grow and am able to look at life from different perspectives, not always my own, but at least from a point of understanding. And in that, I can teach more, and help them grow as individuals.

Every day we learn something new. It's whether or not we've paid enough attention to realise it.

A few days ago, my cousin asked me if I was as organized in my life as I was in my work. Many have asked me that. Just yesterday someone at work told me she doesn't know how I do what I do...always running, staying focused and still finding the time to answer the hundreds of emails that come through in a day. Well if I didn't do it, I couldn't teach it.

But I digress.

My answer to my cousin was immediate. If I didn't live what I taught I would never have had a life. My life experiences have taught me that if I'm not organized, I wouldn't have had time to live. Taking care of my son post-operatively I had a strict schedule I had to follow. And we did it. We always found time to read and watch a movie and get out (when we could).....we had 'get him rebandaged, machines on and dressed and get downstairs time', computer time (for Michael), meal times, 'get outside when no one is around time' and school work time. If I didn't follow that to a 'T', there would be no time.

And in what I call my 'first life' if you weren't on time for orchestra rehearsal you were toast. No excuses. The conductor wasn't interested in any excuses. He had his agenda and you followed it or you wouldn't be there for long.

So (I know...a long winded answer) I practice what I preach.

The second thing I'm often asked is how do I have time to see friends, 'play time' in otherwards. That too is easier for me now. In pruning my life of toxic relationships, I now choose who I spend my free time with. In these hectic days I refuse to throw any free time away by spending it against my will. So the people I DO spend my time with are those I can't wait to see....who energize me in just being there. And no matter how exhausted I might be at the end of a day, just knowing I'll be with them is all I need to give me that extra blip of energy. It's not only about managing's managing energy and how I spend it. The older I get the more important that is.

But all of this has to be self imposed. We don't make changes for anyone other than ourselves if life isn't working, then it's up to you to change it, reorganize yourself so it does work. Every day choose something you can't wait to do or someone you can't wait to see or speak to. The anticipation will give you an edge through the day...that extra spark. And before long you'll see yourself growing in leaps and bounds and not letting life pass you by.

All the best...

Donna Karlin

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