80% of Life Is Showing Up


“Hey, are you going later?”

“If I can find the time…”

“You can’t find time. You have to make time.”

80% of life is showing up. That’s a rule you’ll hear anyone in my family say whenever you can’t seem to find the time to do something.

It’s been hitting me a lot lately. As the school year got rolling, as soccer season went into full swing, as my little red agenda book quickly filled up to Thanksgiving… or Easter…

I work at a school that literally sucks the life out of you: Regular classes Monday through Friday, weekly dorm coverage, daily soccer practice, coverage weekends, Saturday school, weekends devoted to grad school, IEP meetings, advisor meetings, department meetings, house meetings, full-faculty meetings…

And I know it’s not just me. Maybe you’re answering the phone all day, using up all the energy you can muster just to be polite to that one customer who treats you like you’re the scum of the earth.. Maybe you’re crunching numbers on a desktop for so long that you have nothing left in you by time time you punch out and drive home for dinner. Maybe you’re responding to emergencies for 24 hours straight without getting in even 2 hours of sleep.

On Friday evenings I drive home from soccer with my whistle still hanging from my neck. The heat turned up and the music turned down. I have about seven minutes to decompress, and then it’s on to the next item in my little red book.

So that’s where I’m at. And that’s where a lot of us are at. How is it that we can be so completely overwhelmed by the amount of things on our to-do lists each and every day, when, at the end of the day, a lot of us can say, “I am the only one that I am actually responsible for.” Shout out, Mum and Fitz… how do you do it?

But that’s exactly it. So I’m trying to find some balance. There are moments in life when I need to follow that rule of showing up. And I usually do. And I try to channel that bubblicious thing and live in the moment. (Hey, Windsor Mountain!)

Who cares what time I need to be up at? Or if I have prepped for my classes in the morning? Or if I finished that paper due Friday? I can make it home for a spaghetti night, just because I could use it. I can go out for drinks in the city to see a friend I haven't seen in awhile. I can go to that movie coming out after the book we both read…

And then there are the times that, yeah, we made plans, and yeah, I’m just too tired. That 80% of Life rule starts ringing in my ears and pounding in my chest. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we can find the time to just relax either. But just like we have to make time for other people, we also have to make time for ourselves.

Life is busy. So make some time for yourself to read a book or take a walk. Whatever it is you need to do to just do you. And life is so short. So make the time to see the people you care about, and the people that honestly care about you.

80% of life is showing up. Sometimes that means taking the train into the city for dinner and drinks. Or driving five hours for a family get-together. Grabbing coffee with that friend you haven’t seen in awhile.

But sometimes that means showing up for yourself.


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