Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller.
By Mark T. Freeley, Esq. (Open Post)October 25, 2011 at 9:32pm
I don't remember how many years ago I started self reflecting on the many aspects of my life, and it wasn't something that I thought about doing, it just kind of happened. I know it was after I became a father, because I knew that I wanted to spend a lot of time with my kids. When the kids were young it seemed pretty easy, they were home all the time and I was able to spend time with them whenever I wanted to. They always wanted to spend time with me and so there was no problem finding that "bonding" time. I would come home from work, and there they were, waiting for dad, and we could spend the rest of the day together. No playdates, friends, homework, school projects, sports, instruments, clubs...etc.
Fast forward a few years, and wow, how life has changed. The time that was easily found to just hang out with my kids, has slowly evaporated. It was when this started to happen, that I began reflecting on whether or not I was spending enough time with my kids. Not just being in the same place as them, but really spending quality "bonding" time, forming the type of close bond that withstands the teenage years and lasts a lifetime. I don't think anyone teaches us how to do this, we are just supposed to figure it out on our own.
I think Ferris Bueller hit it right on the head with the last line in his movie, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I basically try to live by this rule when trying to juggle my life positions as husband, father, son, brother, lawyer, friend, neighbor, coach and me. I reflect on my priorities for that day, week or month, and try to strike the delicate balance of sharing my time with all these parts that make up my life.
Now, some days it's easier to hit my stride doing this than others. When I reflect, I admit to myself that I am not perfect, and form my game plan for being a better everything. This is where Avalon comes into play. When I go for a walk in Avalon with my dog, I am able to do my best reflecting. I don't think about it before I go, it just happens as I am walking through the fields or on the trails. Whatever guilt I have about the part of my life that has not received the right amount of my time seems to seep out. I then think about what changes I can make to put more time and effort in that direction.
One day I may be thinking about a particular case I am handling that needs a stronger theory, and I may think aloud about what would make the most sense. I may even belt out a draft opening statement under my breath just to see if it resonates when I hear it. I could be thinking about the crazy schedule my kids have lately and how we can find a way to spend more time together. It may be an issue one of my kids is having, and I try to figure out how to best help them while teaching them problem solving skills. It may be a lack of patience that I have had with someone, and I commit to work on being more patient. It could be any issue that we all deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes I think about a particularly great week I have had, or how well my kids did playing their instruments, playing basketball or on a test at school.
So the next time you feel stressed out by our hectic lives, try taking a walk in Avalon and reflect to help put things in better perspective. Bring your dog if you have one, they always help our moods. As you're walking, think about the words of wisdom of Ferris Bueller, he really was a genius.