Saturday, February 14, 2015

Being There

Sometimes I wonder how many things I've missed over the years because I was working. How many baby milestones, how many school events, how many conversations passed me by while I was timing scripts or readying cameras or perfecting an edit? What's done is done, I suppose, and while I missed many things, I was actually there for many as well. The truth is, it's hard to balance the needs of work and family. It's hard even to balance the needs of different children, not to mention the simultaneous needs of spouses and other family members and friends. We make choices when we have to, and ultimately, we just try to do the best we can. We can't possibly be everywhere every time, but we can make the decisions that lead to "being there" at least some of the time.

Today, I was faced with needing to "be there" with so many versions of "there" that I couldn't possibly be in all of them. Often, there just aren't enough hours in a day or enough ways to get from Point A to Point B. When all was said and done, however, I realized that, though I hadn't been everywhere, I had been in a few places where it mattered. More important, when I was there--be it at work or in the kid trenches--I was really "there"--meeting the needs of work or meeting the needs of kids, almost as if the other "there" didn't even exist.

We can't be there all the time. There are more people and tasks and events than we have hours in our lives, especially when you consider that being there for ourselves matters too. The best we can do is to stop long enough to make choices about where to be, and to be where we choose as fully as possible. I would like to think that in the long run, my children and my family and my co-workers will remember not the hours I spent here or there, but my really "being there" in whichever place when it really counted. Because "being there" isn't just about showing up. It's about really "being there" once you've arrived.

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