What do I wish that I had done more of in 2011?

Deep breathing. Settling into yoga poses. Kneading dough instead of just selling bread. Playing with children, with adults, with words, with paints. Taking risks. I’ve been reactive and safe. I’ve been distant and removed while grinding myself into a boring and work focused being. Instead of looking at the words tattooed on my wrist ("Live Now") and feeling taunted by them- I wish that I had used them as the reminder that I intended when I had them placed there. 

This weekend my great uncle James was buried in Fayette, Alabama. The man who taught me to love college football and introduced me to the wonders of fried okra is now gone. He lived 96 full years. I last saw him the day of his 90th birthday party. I remember him breaking into song to entertain the huge group that had gathered to celebrate him. I am thankful that I was there that day. I love that I can close my eyes now and see him standing in the church rec room, spontaneously performing for us all. There are not words to describe how much I regret not being there for him in the years between then and now. The years when the pain in his knees increased, his ability to grow his once magical garden faded, and his body allowed him less independence and mobility. My heart breaks that my strong and beautiful aunt has lost her partner and that I’ve not made space or time to be there for her.
I didn’t go to his funeral. I worked a 10 hour day instead. I was afraid to go. Having not been around my family much, I worried that showing up would hurt some of my family members. I feared judgment for my absence and my distance. I realize now that the harshest judge of me and my choices is in my head.
What do I wish that I had done more of in 2011?

More living. Less hiding. Less grinding away at work that I don’t care about. More letting the people I love know how much I love and appreciate them.

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