The things that really matter

It’s funny how life can jump up and hit you in the face.
I had my day mapped out today. I was planning to do my least favourite activity – calling people to market a new workshop I’ve developed. I went to my favourite cafe to psych myself into it and had a great conversation with a colleague while I was there.
Then just as we were finishing up, I got a call on my mobile from the hostel where my elderly mother is staying. I missed the call but rang them back straight away. For the next fifteen minutes, their number was engaged. My pulse rate went through the roof. What had happened? If they rang and didn’t leave a message it must be serious. Eventually they got onto Judy, my wife, who rang me to let me know that Mum had had a fall. She was alright but had a cut on her head and they had called the doctor.
As it happened, I was close by and so I went around there straight away. Mum was pretty shaky but it was reassuring to see that she was OK. I ended up staying with her the whole day, eventually taking her to the doctor because the doctor couldn’t make a home visit today, watching for an hour as they stitched her up, taking her to have a CT scan to make sure there was no internal bleeding, then over to my sister’s place so someone could keep an eye on her overnight.
It made me think that this is the stuff that really matters.
So often we get caught up in the world of work and forget that the we work to live rather than live to work. I happen to think that work is really important and more important than just making a living. Work is about making a contribution to society. About creating or sustaining something good for the good of the whole.
But it is easy to lose sight of that and get caught up in the task rather than why we are doing the task. With a tendency to the obsessive, I am particularly prone to this problem.
So today is gone as far as work is concerned. I did something much more important with today. My mum is happy and thankful for the help she got from her family when she needed it today.