How do you sign off your emails? Our signatures communicate our personalities and preferences. ‘Cheers’ is too blokey for me, resonant of the pub. ‘Best regards’ or ‘kind regards’ work in more formal situations. My editor signs off ‘Warmly’, and that’s exactly what she is – her warmth powers through space and time, enveloping me instantly.
Most often I use ‘for now’, or ‘best for now’, suggesting a continuing, friendly conversation. Variations of ‘love’ suit family and close friends, and occasionally I use ‘take care’. But it was a seemingly casual remark from living-well-with-illness blogger Trudy Boyle that stopped me short. ‘May you take good care of your precious days’, she wrote. ‘Take good care of your precious days.’
It made me realize that sometimes, I treat my days disrespectfully, even brutally. I stuff them full of things to do or be done, heedless of whether they might be hurting. Sure, I pace myself and take time out to rest. But my days are less a gift to inspire wonder than something more mundane and utilitarian. A schedule of things to do, which once done, whoosh down a chute and disappear, only for others to take their place.
I’ve never been motivated by the thought that based on average life expectancy, I’ve got 1825 more breakfasts to enjoy, or 260 Sundays. But this morning, as I put on my shoes and orthotic brace, and tied my laces with deliberation, Trudy’s words reverberated in my mind. Here’s my day, I thought, my precious day. Another precious day. How will I take care of it?
For Trudy, taking care of her day means spending time outdoors, doing things she loves, hanging out with people that ‘mean the world’ to her. And letting go of what she no longer needs.
As for me, first thing, I’ll say hello. Look into the eyes of my day, acknowledge it being there, showing up for me, one more time.
Then, I’ll make an inquiry. How are you? Is something different for you today, that I need to know about? Perhaps we need to adjust our plans …
We’re almost ready to go – just one more thing. Is there something I can do for you, or you for me? One small thing that will make this day memorable?
I take care of others; I take care of myself. Today, this day, will be memorable because from now on, I’m taking care of my day, every one of my precious days.
A note: At long last, I think the problem with the automated email notification of my new blog posts has been sorted. Let’s hope its smooth sailing from now on.