How to make each moment matter with those who matter most
We are all guilty of being too busy to catch up with someone and just assuming that they are going to be available ‘next time’. Life is so hectic these days that it’s often too easy to get lost in the busy-ness. We don’t have time to make each moment matter as we rush to our next commitment. Those who matter the most to us are usually the ones who suffer the most because we tend to take for granted that they will always love us (which usually they will) and that they will always be there. But what if they weren’t?
What if suddenly they were no longer there? That’s what happened to my latest Fearless Females Podcast guest Deb Rae when suddenly her husband and best friend for seventeen years was gone. He was hit by a car on the pedestrian crossing two hundred metres from their front door and later died. Her whole world was thrown upside down and it was the most horrendous time of her life. During our interview, she says, “the hardest part is you are then going through the worst time of your life without the one person who would always help you to get through the hard times.”
There were similarities with my life and with the part of Deb’s story prior to the tragedy as they were on an ‘around the world permanently’ travel adventure, much like my fiancé and I are at the moment and the thought of suddenly losing the man I love brought me to tears, a little embarrassingly and surprisingly, during the interview.
Afterwards, I made a commitment to myself to make each moment matter with those who matter most to me. To be able to do this I first set about defining what that meant to me, then made a list of those who matter most to me, and then I thought about how the things I could do to hold myself accountable to my commitment and I came up with the following five steps. Here they are:
My five steps on how to make each moment matter with those who matter most to me:
- Always tell people how much they mean to you because you never know when you might see them again. I don’t say this to be morbid, negative or scare you. It’s just that I have experienced first-hand how painful it is when words of love and kindness are left unsaid and then the opportunity is taken away from you to ever say it to them again.
Recently a dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly and in my message box was a message I hadn’t responded to from her. I never got the chance to tell her how much she meant to me and how she inspired me to be a better person.
You don’t want to live with regrets so be sure to tell those who matter that you love them and regularly tell them how much they mean to you. You can never say it too much.
- Prioritise time to be present with those who matter to you. It’s easy for time to fly by and before you know it it’s been months since you saw your best friend. Yes, I know that if they are your best friend then time doesn’t matter but how important is what you’re doing (work?) in comparison to spending time with them when the moments you remember and cherish are always those moments spent with them? So be sure to schedule time in your calendar to spend time with those who matter most to you.
The other thing to remember is when you when you are with them it’s important to be 100% present with them. That means turning off your phone, or at least onto silent, listening to what they are saying (and really hearing it, and genuinely being present in the moment and connecting with them.
- Never, ever part with an argument unresolved. This always sounds great in theory but in the heat of the moment, it’s all too easy to want to ‘get out of there’ and grab the keys to leave.
Make a serious commitment to those who matter to you that you won't do this and they have the right to remind you when and if you go to do it. I don’t need to explain the reasons why I’m pretty sure you can work it out but saying it and doing it are two different things.
We have a commitment in our relationship to always resolve any issues we have and bring us both back to a place of love, regardless of what else has to be done or what appointments are pressing us because ultimately, it’s our relationship with each other that matters the most to each of us so it is the priority.
- Love you so that you have more love to give to those that matter to you. If your inner cup is empty then when and if you get to spend time with those who are important to you, you will find it difficult to be present with them and to give them the love and kindness they deserve if you are completely depleted yourself.
So, put yourself first and make sure you are looking after your own needs first and then you will be able to make each moment matter that you spend with those who matter most to you.
- Remember that the smallest things can sometimes mean the most. Being thoughtful and letting people know how much they mean to you isn’t about doing grand gestures and buying expensive gifts. I used to avoid spending time with those who mattered most to me if I was going through a financial challenge because I felt I couldn’t do the things together that I wanted to.
I have since realised that it’s not what you do together that matters, it’s simply spending time together that is what counts. Showing them that you care by asking them about their lives, sharing in their wins, asking what might be troubling them at the time, or just being with them in silence can be so powerful.
One of my fondest memories and definitely a special moment for me was sitting in silence on a bench seat with one of my dearest friends and just watching the full moon as reflected across the water.
I hope these five steps to make each moment matter with those who matter most has been helpful but I must say that none of these will work unless you make a commitment to actually doing them. Not sometimes, but always. Otherwise, the moments will pass, and so might those who matter.
If you would like to hear the entire interview with Deb Rae about how she made it through the most challenging time of her life and how she has turned it into her purpose then click here