Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

April 28, 2014

TIDBITS: In the company of friends

CROSSVILLE — I truly believe life is speeding up with every hour that passes by. Here we are staring down the first of May, when I could have sworn it was just turning 2014 the other day. They say that time flies when you're having fun. I suppose there is truth in that statement. But, time also flies when you're busy, and I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger the last several months.

From special sections to meetings, to hobbies to family and friends, I have been on the go for the last several weeks (months). I try to keep up with all the work that needs to be done, otherwise it might come crashing down on me, but it's not always easy. I make my to-do lists, and sometimes I even manage to get all the way through the list. Other times, I'm carrying items over from a few days before, hoping that this will be the day that I cross it off.

One thing that continues to keep me running are special events with my loved ones. From the relatives I was blessed with at birth to the relatives I have chosen for myself over the years, I have a lot of people in my life who care about me and whom I care about, as well. And many of those people have had exciting happenings in their lives. From new babies to new jobs to birthdays and milestones, it's been a busy few months.

Sometimes it is difficult to look at my calendar and see how everything that needs to get done is going to get done. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so much one can accomplish before the caffeine and the B vitamins fail to keep you going.

Then there is the stress of knowing all that needs to be done. It's not just meetings and assignments. There is also laundry that must be washed, dried and put away, floors that need to be swept and mopped, dogs that need to be walked, and groceries that must be bought. Just running a household is exhausting, and I don't even have children. How do you parents do it?

When you're facing all that, the kind invitation to dinner or lunch or a shower may seem like another obligation, another thing to add to the list.

When you have that thought, stop. Put down your color-coded day planner, step away from the piles of laundry, and stop running through all the reasons why you should pass on seeing this person who wants to spend time with you.

It's so easy in this dog-eat-dog, hectic rat race we sometimes feel like we're running to lose sight of what's really important, and it's not dusting your book shelves and washing your windows. It's the people in our lives that make our lives special, meaningful and fulfilling.

You may have to use some creative scheduling. You may not get to spend all the time you would like with family and friends, but make the time to visit with them when you can. Years from now, you won't remember the outfit you were busy ironing, the story you were writing for the next issue, or the dinner you cooked that night, but you will remember the times spent with people who love you and care about you. You'll laugh as you recall taking turns wearing the birthday sombrero at dinner. You'll smile when you think back on how your cousin raved over the paintings you made for her soon-to-be child. Even though you were exhausted at the time, you'll remember the hug your friend's daughter gave you when you stopped by to help out with some homework, and you may not recall exactly what was so funny, but you'll remember laughing with your friend until your cheeks hurt the next day, and you'll be glad you didn't go straight home to call it a night. That was an hour well spent in the company of people you care about.

I'm sure we all think we need a few more hours in each day, but don't let yourself get so busy that you can't find the time to make a few more good memories.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.

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