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  • Writer's pictureAndi


The definition of priceless - “so precious that its value cannot be determined”.

This week I am unexpectedly writing my blog from Cape Town, South Africa. My mom’s sister literally “tumbled” into her 90s by taking a bad fall on her birthday. With less than two weeks notice I flew down to help her heal and provide emotional support for my cousin. This type of trip usually takes months of planning. My initial instinct was that I could not take two weeks from work with such short notice, but I realized that my aunt might not be around when I felt travel would fit in better with my work schedule. I am so glad I am here because I have had absolutely priceless moments with her. Just seeing her smile when I arrived completely evaporated any anxiety I had about work. This week my children saw through my actions the importance of seeing the big picture.

If you are not familiar with Cape Town, it’s a scenic wonder and the picture above is only a one dimentional snapshot which cannot depict the true beauty. One can only appreciate the beauty by physically being here and taking in the 360 degree view of the ocean and mountains simultaneously. I am humbled walking between these wonders of nature and am reminded of the strength of the famous Cape wind when it blows through. I feel tiny and I’m cognizant that we are just visitors on the earth for a very limited time in comparison to these vast structures that have not changed over millions of years. My own skin may have wrinkled and my bones may have softened but the scenery looks exactly the same as when I was a child. These natural wonders will be here long after I am gone.

As I reflect looking around, it seems funny that my problems feel so encompassing and huge, yet I feel smaller than an ant. This is causing me to wonder why we spend so much energy worrying about things that seem so monumental when we are actually tiny beings on the planet? Do ants have problems? I will now have to google about the brain of an ant…

This does not mean we should ignore our feelings or discount our problems. It’s just a good reminder to pause and to put things in perspective since we only have a fraction of time on this beautiful planet. We will never reclaim the time lost by worrying or stressing over problems, especially those that are materialistic or spurred on by comparing ourselves to others.

This trip has reinforced that my family bonds are priceless! My aunt is doing so much better and I have reconnected with my family and childhood friends. It feels so natural to be here. There are so many priceless things in front of us but we tend to cling to the negativity in our lives. Nature is an excellent reminder that life is beautiful even when we are struggling.Taking a walk and looking at the seasonal changes is a great reinforcement that time keeps moving even though we might feel stuck.

For Parents: Watch your sleeping child and you will understand what priceless means in an instant. Even as my children are older, being with them fills my heart in a way that only a parent can understand. Children learn by watching our actions not by listening to our words. From a very young age, children mimic our actions as evidenced by how they learn language. If our children see us crumble, get defensive or angry when faced with a problem, they will react in the same way when faced with a challenge. Calm and consistency are keys to managing stress. As I mentioned last week, breathing through the triggers and hurdles allows us to make calmer decisions and provides children with a sense of safety. When I was flying across the ocean and the airplane started bumping in turbulence, I immediately looked at the air stewards to see if they were calm. Same thing goes for parenting. Our children look to us to see how we react when things feel unsafe. Be aware of this when speaking about the pandemic or the war in Ukraine in front of them. Also make sure to point out the wonders that lie in front of them everyday so that they see the world as a place of beauty between life’s hurdles.

If you find you have difficulty seizing priceless moments in your life and would like a Do Over to confidently reset your personal priorities. I can help guide you.


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