Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Showing up and stuff..........

This is just a little blog post about the importance of showing up. I remember reading an article once, about Bill Gates' father, Bill Sr., and he stressed the importance of showing up. I believe in the combined power of men and women who "show up" for the people they love and the causes they believe in ~ Bill Gates, Sr.  This quote comes from an article about his book, aptly named, "Showing Up For Life".  I have not read the book, but from interviews and articles I've read about it, the takeaway message is that it's important to just show up for life. Show up for the game or dance recital or award presentation or benefit concert or charity race. Show up when the family is getting together. Show up when your friends meet for coffee or dinner. Show up to help your friend move to a new place. Show up when you say you will, and when you should. 

Too often, we say we'll "get together soon" with someone and "soon" turns into ten years in the blink of an eye. Or we say we'll help at the charity car wash, but the day turns out sunny and we suddenly have other plans. Or we'll walk the 5K race, but it rains or snows and we decide to stay under the covers at home. Or we say we'll "stop by" when the family gathers, but decide that hanging out with our friends is more important. And before you know it, all those lost opportunities and chances to just BE with the ones you love and care about are gone. People move far away. People die. People just stop wanting to be a part of your life because you never show up. 

Worse, if you say you'll show up, and don't, people no longer trust you. You become one of those permanent "maybes" and eventually you're just forgotten. It hearkens back to my blog post about being the "do-er, the planner". Those who do and never receive eventually stop doing. 

And think of what you're missing. Sure, a family dinner might sound boring to you, but you'll miss the baby's sweet laugh or the hilarious joke, or the homemade ice cream. Or the 5K race in the rain might seem like misery but you'll miss the joy of crossing the finish line soaking wet with thousands of other participants and the hot coffee afterward. Maybe you just don't feel like going out with your friends, but you can never get back those couple of hours of laughing and that might be just what you needed. 

Sure, we can't do everything or be in every place at once. But if you say you'll show up, then show up. Establish your priorities and give 100% to those. It's ok to give yourself a break now and then and just NOT do what you'd planned. But don't make it a habit. Because when you don't show up, you miss out. And you can never get that time back. Life is funny like that. It keeps marching on...............

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