Today was one of those days. Within a very short window I’d agreed to be in three competing, meaningful places. I had to choose based on gut – actually, my heart. Too many times in my life I’ve chosen the work or “duty bound” priority, doing things I felt I should.
Instead of fulfilling a professional commitment, I took my son to his swimming lesson. He mostly mucked around but I know it’s consistency that matters. Then my favourite family on this planet was running late for their own party, which entirely ruled out arriving late to the work event. Choosing to stay instead made time for catching up and hearing the heartfelt speeches for their son, who graduated Law today. One of the best moments was when my tired and grumpy little swimmer high fived him, in recognition of the hard slog to date, and in that moment I glimpsed the past, the future and I caught my breath, for the first time today.
Ultimately, I missed out on the third and very important event. I would have liked to witness and applaud the induction of an outstanding man as the new Chancellor of the University that I love, which was once my favourite job and place in the world. The ceremony and that room filled with joy might possibly have been as great as the pool of kids that afternoon, and shortly after, the deck filled with family celebrating a new career. But that’s life – I cannot fulfil every good intention, ace every moment or be everywhere. The secret I suspect is in truly being wherever we are so that we don’t regret the moments missed.