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Birthdays: A Time to Reflect and Reset

birthday cake

As I was plotting & planning my week, I realized that July was quickly coming to an end and August was upon us. You ask, why does that matter? August always comes after July. Well, August is the month that the good Lord brought me into this world and each year it gives me pause to stop and reflect on what I've done, where I am now and what is down the road.
Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees in our everyday lives, and as l look back on this year I am just as guilty as everyone else. I'm such an advocate of practicing random acts of kindness, community service and social responsibility that often times I forget to genuinely connect with the people that matter the most that would be the ones that are always around us.

Start with yourself and then your immediate family - we are not "Superhuman"! Occasionally, we need to take a timeout from life's demands. Today, let's reflect on where we've been, where we are and what's down the road. Get away from the to-do-list (I make them for everyone in the family every day!) and take the time to be a spouse, a parent, a relative or a good friend. I know that sometimes I become so obsessed with what's going on in the outside world that I ignore what is right under my nose. Now I am making a conscious effort to sometimes stop and remind myself of why I wanted to marry my husband in the first place or why we made a decision to have three children. It was not to mark it off a bucket list; it was done with intent and purpose.

Life can be really tough sometimes. I am guilty of trying to be all things to all people. However, our responsibility first lies to what's within our immediate circle. Then, when that is in working order, you can go beyond that. Good intentions are wonderful, but "someday" is today. Our kids grow up and move out, lukewarm friendships fade away, and so many marriages end in failure. Time is a gift from God! Don't let the opportunity to reach out to those within your four walls slip through your fingers.

Do something kind for those that are right under your nose and not always on the other side of town. Hold your spouse's hand, take your kids to get ice cream, send your best friend a note in the mail. Keep an eye open for those little magic moments because when life starts placing all its demands on you those moments are what will carry us through the stresses. Our faith, our family and our work are all a balancing act. With the complex issues that life tosses us each day we need to remember we are bound by our choices so let's strive to make good ones and start within our own homes.

In closing, I'll share a little story with you. SJ was probably 3 or 4 years old and I had a "to-do-list" a mile long. We were leaving to go out of town the next day and I was frantically trying to get everything on the list and more completed. We were in a department store and one minute he was next to me and the next minute he was gone. I panicked! Suddenly, nothing on the list mattered excepted finding SJ. I screamed his name, I didn't care what anyone thought (no surprise), all that mattered was fining my son. I would have gone to any lengths to find him and in typical SJ fashion he popped out from under a coat rack and said, "What are you screaming about?" I didn't know whether to spank him or kiss him until he couldn't breathe. In moments like that the list are not so important and the outside obligations don't seem like such a priority. Use your time wisely, and remember - there is only so much sand in the hour glass.

Who gets yours?

Photo credit: Omar Wezir via Flickr.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter @LeighAnneTuohy and play #TuohyTrivia on Tuesdays for a chance to win a $25 donation to the charity of your choice for answering the question correctly. Learn more about my family's charity at The Making It Happen Foundation.

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