If there’s one question I’ve learned to ask myself more than any other, it’s this:
Is the thing I’m doing moving me closer or further away from the person I want to be?
I want to be less stressed out, happier, have more energy and have more meaningful experiences with the people I love.
I find if I remember to ask that question, I can slowly, gently move myself closer to that and I believe that if life is anything, it is that: the slow journey from who we were born as to who we imagine we could be, accepting each step as it comes and forgiving ourselves when we falter, so that we can carry on.
We are meant to move slowly but we are meant to move.
I find my primary method of movement in that journey is being present with the people I love, and in the experiences I seek out. And I find the more distracted I am, the more I am pulled away from where I am by plans and memories and the bright lights and colours of everyday life, the more miserable I am.
If I am with my children, when my phone bings and bingles with red and exciting notifications, I put my phone on do-not-disturb and I engage with them fully in whatever we’re doing.
If we’re having a tea party, we’re only having a tea party, I’m not trying to solve a problem or write a new poem. If we’re on a swing, we are only on the swing, I am fully invested, spiritually, emotionally and mentally in what we’re doing, I am engaged with them and interested in every story, ever nuance of who my children are.
My children have never been upset or brats or challenged me when I’ve treated them not as obstacles between me and what I want to achieve, but as the people I want to be with, experiencing things I want to experience.
I’m not saying that phones are bad, I run my life from my phone, and I understand that this isn’t always possible; that parenting is hard and that often as parents, we need to accomplish things -while- juggling our children. My point is that we should approach our life with intention, and when it is time to spend time with the people we love, that is all we should be doing.
When we are with someone, let’s be with them.
I believe we should treat everyone and all our experiences in this way, meaningful and with intention.
Thank you for your time.
Iain S. Thomas.
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1 thought on “To Live With Meaning”
Dear Mr. Thomas,
On page 147 of “Every Word You Cannot Say” in the middle of the poem you write: “I wonder if anything I do actually matters”….the answer is yes, something you do matters. I don’t know about everything you do, but your words in this book and others have allowed me to speak more freely with my close friends and family members. I have opened up and have become more truthful in my everyday statements. So, what you did mattered to me, and never, ever forget that….I certainly will not, and I thank you daily for….being.