living in the present

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12 12, 2015

Do Things From the Past Hold us From Moving Forward?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:49-05:00December 12th, 2015|Categories: beliefs, Blog|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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favoriteTwo days ago, I realized I had lost my favorite watch. The watch was sent to me from a friend after my best loved cousin passed away. I loved the watch; it was very expensive and she only wore it when we went to the theater or out to eat. I commented that it was so beautiful she should wear it more often. She laughed and said she sometimes forgot about it. I was amazed when I received it; until its loss, I considered it my very lucky charm.  I retraced my steps, turned the house upside down, and it hasn’t appeared. There was no reason why it should have fallen off; it had a special safety bracelet.

For one day, I could barely function. It was embarrassing how lost I felt without the watch. I keep feeling my arm for my watch. I was out of sorts without my good-luck piece. I started thinking about what it meant.

It was a link to the past. It was a past filled with laughter, good times and some mystery. Part of the mystery was her unwillingness to go through chemotherapy to stop her leukemia.  She had cancer ten years earlier, and came through it with flying colors. She used to tell me it was a breeze. When she finished her treatment, she coached me through my cancer which started the day after she finished her treatment! Believe me, it was an awful winter. We were planning a trip to Italy and more good times in her town of Boston. By the way, we had not seen each other for over twenty years until she tracked me down at a seminar I was doing in Maine one year! We never knew why our families stopped talking, but they had. We vowed it would never happen again, and we began a very close friendship for almost eight years.

 

The eight years were filled with more fun than ever had when we were kids. She was a  couple of years older and, I thought, wiser than me.

The closer we got, the more I noticed how frightened she was. The nurse who ran eight operating rooms at Mass. General was willing to die than go through a bone marrow transplant. The one who told me not to worry about anything was undoubtedly worrying. I was there when the doctor told her if she didn’t continue treatment, she would be dead in a week. I heard her say, “I don’t care!” What had I missed?

I loved the watch but more than that I loved Rosalie. She was the grown-up sister I never had; the one who didn’t compare me to anyone else in my family. She was the one who loved me unconditionally. She approved of my finance and actually adored him; we spent many wonderful times together.

I tell myself; it’s just a watch. I really can’t afford to replace it because of the cost, and it wasn’t insured. I’m hoping someone found it, and they are wearing it. My arm feels so empty, but maybe it’s really my heart. I know Rosalie is gone but there was still a piece of her with me. The watch was the piece I really valued because I know how much it meant to her. How many other things am I  holding that really don’t matter?

She is in my heart; more than ever. Her love and good wishes for me are very much alive.  (She thought I was amazing and I felt the same way about her!) Our families came from very humble beginnings, there were Italian immigrants. We both spent our summers on the farm helping with chores. We both hoped to move on in our lives. I was the first to attend college in my family; she was the second in hers. We both knew we didn’t have much money but our families worked hard and assured us we would get through college.

I want the watch back, but more than that, I want Rosalie back. I’m mad that she made the decision to go away and leave me on my own. I am happy to have spent so much time with her and her most prized possession.  The watch was just a symbol of my connection to my cousin; I know she is still in my heart.

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13 09, 2015

Is it Your Obligation to be Happy?

By |2017-03-03T12:06:52-05:00September 13th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Change, fun, Motivation|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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Who should make you happy?

As I was leaving my Pilates class today, a friend and I started to talk about life. We were sharing how much we love Lois’s Sunday Pilates class at the Y and how motivated we felt after class. Lois is not only a good teacher; she has what we call, “a great soul.” Life is important to her.

My friend said she felt she had an “obligation to be positive and enjoy life.” I laughed and said, “That sounds like another job and I don’t know if I want one.” We laughed and she went further.

“I think about the present and don’t go to the future. This way, I always invest in whatever the moment brings. I want my children to understand how important the present is. What do you think,” she asked?

First I shared the story about my next door neighbor who was absent at our “porch” get together last night.  When someone asked where he was, his wife said he was sulking because he had a birthday the next day.  Apparently he had a melt down and went to bed.  I thought, Is that a luxury or a disease?

(Wow, what a great conversation we are having in the “Y” parking lot. This will make today worth remembering. )

I, like many, often fight to live in the present. It’s easy to think ahead to next week; friends I’m going to see or my Sunday Pilates class.  If you reflect on it, today is the day you looked forward to last week. I told her if I don’t stay with today, it has very little meaning. It’s like devaluing the day, and I forget to put my effort into enjoying the day and making it wonderful. Isn’t it a terrible way to use up a precious day?

We all know what it’s like to lose someone we love or something that was important to us. If we invest in the present, we will know we’ve loved the best we can and something great is bound to come out of it. We just have to make it happen.

It doesn’t matter how simple or magnificent the day is; it may be just enjoying the rain.

If we’re lucky, today will come so why not make it the best day ever? When you think about it, life is just a series of experiences linked together by our thoughts about them. Like a string of pearls, they surround our being.

Let’s focus on having them free rather than strangle us. Okay, she did say let’s go kayaking after one of our classes. Just having the conversation was good; we do need things to look forward too.

If you do the best you can for today, you’ll never be disappointed in yourself.

Thanks to Kristin Appenbrink for the motivational poster.

Lisbeth Calandrino has been a business coach for over twenty years. She helps business build strategies to their success. To schedule a consultation with her, reach her at [email protected]

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21 06, 2012

Decide To Walk Through Your Life: One Step At A Time

By |2017-03-03T12:07:05-05:00June 21st, 2012|Categories: Blog, Motivation|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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Life is in the present

Although we know life’s journey is one step at a time, we all have a tendency to hop, skip and jump through the journey, don’t we? We go to the past, jump to the future and rarely think about the present. I was with a friend today whose husband died about six months ago after being sick for three years. During that time, she had met a nice man whose wife was also dying. They became very good friends through their heartfelt discussions and have remained friends since their spouses have passed. It hasn’t been easy. Everyone seems upset by their friendship, commenting: “what would your spouses think?”

My friend made a conscious choice to live in the present, not in the past. The journey through life happens by putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the scenery. She’s doing her best on her new journey.

Several months ago I was interviewing a possible coaching customer. The first question I asked was “What is important to your life?” He looked at me astonished and said no one had ever asked him that question. All the questions they asked were about his business.  I explained without clear values, it was easy to make a mistake.  He said making time for his seven-year-old daughter was very important.  I pointed out that originally he said he would do anything to be successful; now, it appears, we have a values conflict.

I think Garth Brooks said it well in his song “The River.” Should you care to sing along, here are the words:

You know a dream is like a river, ever changin’ as it flows.
And a dreamer’s just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what’s behind you and never knowing what’s in store, makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
I will sail my vessel ‘until the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the wind these waters are my sky.
I’ll never reach my destination if I never try.
So I will sail my vessel ’til the river runs dry.
Too many times we stand aside and let the waters slip away.
Till what we put off ’til tomorrow has now become today.
So don’t you sit upon the shoreline and say you’re satisfied.

Thanks to my wonderful friend for sharing her thoughts as we journey through our lives—together.

Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build loyal customers through sales and customer service training. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service can be purchased on her web site.

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