I have been gorging myself on good television lately. (Is there such a thing?) The fall nights are cold and there is no greater comfort than to curl up under my covers and lose myself in someone else’s story while I create something beautiful with yarn and a crochet hook.
My latest binge has been This Is Us. If you have not seen it I will let you know now that this post contains spoilers.
Nearly every episode brings tears to my eyes. It is the raw and deep tale of the Pearson Family. William in particular can bring on the water works for me.
William is the biological father of Randall, a man who was abandoned at a fire station as a baby and then lovingly raised by his adoptive parents Jack and Rebecca. Father and son are reunited when Randall is 36 years old.
It is no secret from nearly the beginning that William is dying. He has stage 4 cancer and the end is near for him.
It’s the way William handles life, knowing that he will soon be gone, that touches me so deeply. He mixes the important with the frivolous. One day he is all about finding the perfect pair of sunglasses and the next he is pouring himself into teaching his granddaughter how to play chess.
He chooses to speak his fears, when he is scared. He connects and makes sure the people in his inner circle know that they are loved. He risks vulnerability like a boss.
He is dying and he is grateful for every blessed moment he has left to make memories and spread kindness.
William makes me want to be a better person.
I want to walk around in my neighborhood and talk to people like they really matter. Because they do. People really matter.
The mailman cried when he learned of William’s passing. I don’t even know my mailman’s first name. I suppose that’s because I get my mail from a box at the local store… but still.
Life is precious because it ends. Sometimes we know that the end is coming and sometimes we don’t see it at all.
Our relationships are precious because while they may be long term they are never permanent.
Love. Love your humans.
Heal and be good to yourself so that you are whole and well and able to pour warm fuzzies all over them.
Children need parents who are calm and at peace. Husbands and wives need partners who are joyful and kind. People need other people to see them and let them know they are worthy.
I recently read a Facebook status that said something like “Self-care feels like another things on my list” Like a burden.”
Self-care does not have to be a spa day. It’s taking 5 minutes to breath and recenter your thoughts. It’s making sure you have enough water. It’s gently taking your own hand and telling yourself you are just fine in this moment.
There are a thousand small ways to care for yourself.
It is life giving to those around you. It is how you say I have permission to love myself and so do you. And if we are all loving ourselves better then we are loving each other better as well.
Still there is guilt wrapped up in pausing. Our inner voice tells us if it’s not “productive” it’s not valuable.
It is rare to meet a grown up who does something just for the pure joy it brings them.
It’s a bit sad really that for some of us our “breaks” come when we get to go to the grocery store alone. Life can be so much sweeter than the grocery store.
You are worthy of 10, 15, 30 minutes in the morning to journal, stretch, meditate, pray… what ever it is that jazzes you up for the day you are about to face do that thing.
You are worthy of play.
Life is precious. And the more you fill it with being kind to yourself, the more compassion and kindness you have to pass on to others.