Once, when I was in fifth grade, I got selected to sing at my Catholic school’s mass. The evening before I was set to sing in front of the school, my mom asked if she could come and support, but I begged her not to. Maybe I couldn’t stand the pressure of knowing my mom was watching in addition to all of my classmates and teachers, or maybe I just didn’t want to make this into a “thing"- it was a church, after all. But if you know me, you know that deep down, I wanted her there (Who?! Me?! Wanting attention?! NO WAY!)
The next day, I got up to read my lines, even though I had them memorized: “The Lord hears the cry of the poor, blessed be the Lord.” I lifted my right hand to gesture to the crowd to repeat the line in unison. Then, finally, I mustered up the courage to lift my gaze.
On the opposite end of the gym, leaning against the doorframe, in my most favorite flowery dress, was Mom. Discreet, but make no mistake. She showed up.
We’ve all experienced moments like this. That moment when a partner shows up with flowers or chocolate when you’ve gotten bad news, the moment when you’re about to move far away and friends show up to see you off and say goodbye, the moment when Ross, after playing the frantic voicemail in which Rachel realizes she’s flying to Paris but loves Ross, turns around and sees Rachel in his living room. She got off the plane… *sigh*...
The older we get, the more tempting it can be to flake, to make excuses, to get our bodies to our destination while we allow our minds to be elsewhere, seeing wherever we’re at or whomever we’re with as an interruption, rather than the main event. We’ve all been there- spending a workout class putting a To-Do list together in our mind, rushing through a phone call with a family member so that we can hang up the phone and…. Do what exactly? As a self-proclaimed productivity addict, I REALLY struggle with this, overcommitting to events and gobbling up life like it’s a Vegas buffet. Our phones, our busy schedules, and our egos make it easy to miss out on a lot of important stuff that’s happening, both out there and within ourselves. But that doesn’t mean we stop trying. We’ve got to show up.
That’s it. That’s all it ever is. Our primary job- our only job- is to
In a world where nothing is promised, we owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to show up- not just for the fun stuff, but for the good and the ugly. For the weddings and the heartbreak. For the coffee dates and the midnight phone calls. For that baby shower that will probably be boring. Show up for your anger just as fully as you show up for your joy. Show up for Monday just as vigorously as you show up for Friday. Not because you love Monday’s, but because you love yourself, and you don’t want to spend one-seventh of your life unhappy.
Consider this your weekly reminder to get off the plane.