With Mothers Day fast approaching, I'm reminded of the things that matter most to me and what a gift time spent truly is. Since time spent is no longer an option for me and my mother, I really value the time spent I get with the ones I love.
It doesn't have to be anything fancy. In fact, the quiet little times shared tend to linger longer and have more meaning these days than the grand and fabulous ones.
It's amazing though just how busy everyone always is. Busy here, busy there. Racing from one thing to another. More so in large cities like Los Angeles, where I've been the past few days. I think we've actually conned ourselves into believing our busy pace adds some greater purpose to the life we live.
Years ago I was at a party with some very high profile folks in the New Age movement. (Just the kind of circle of friends "a serious person" probably tries to shy away from.) In the room that night were many world famous authors, one of whom pointed to a gentleman she said I had to meet. . .
"You must meet so and so over there!" She advised, adding "He's by far the wisest man here!"
He had to be I thought to myself, after all, my friend was known in this particular circle of friends as possessing a rather large spiritual ego, I couldn't believe she actually admitted one to be wiser than herself!
When I approached the Wise One, I extended my hand and said "I was told I had to meet you. Please tell me, what is it you do?"
He took my hand and looked me straight in the eye and gently said "Why, the same thing as you... As little as possible! I'll bet we're the happiest ones here!"
In that moment I was so thankful. Not for meeting the wisest man at the party, but for finally having a line that rang true when asked what it was I did.
Oftentimes when asked that question, it's said not with genuine interest of what one actually "does" but rather, "what is it that warrants you being at the party"
Less of a sincere "what do you do?" and more of a challenge, like "why should I know you?"
Truth is, anyone who wonders "why they should know you" should do you the kind favor of staying as far away from you as possible.
So visiting LA the past few days has reminded me just how busy everyone is. Close friends who always say "I wish you still lived in LA!" are suddenly scurrying about and too busy to say hello face to face.
I'm not complaining, really; if anything, I have compassion for this game of being busy. After all, I lived in LA and played the busy game for a good twenty years. Let's face it, going to a meeting sounds so much better than say, going to the unemployment office or watching Judge Judy.
The illusion of being busy may keep us "in the loop" but at what cost i wonder? Oftentimes we exchange being in a genuine moment for hiding behind the facade of a packed itinerary.
At the end of the day, if we stopped long enough to remember how fleeting this whole dance called life really is, we'd be so busy we'd probably forget our own name, or better yet, why we came at all.
I'm sitting in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Hotel as I write this. Waiting for a couple friends to show up before we go off to a party for Arianna herself, the namesake of this very post. I wonder how many friends I'll see there who were too busy to get together over the past few days while I was visiting the place i once called "home."
We'll all spend just enough time together sharing the many projects we're working on and how busy we all are being busy.
I already have my stock reply ready for the question that will no doubt be coming my way very shortly. When asked what I'm working on these days, I'll sum it up in four little words. Four little words that would make my mother smile:
"As little as possible."