Rebecca Ryan on Life
If you're keeping track -- and I know some of you do -- you've noticed that my regular blogs have been, well, irregular while I've tended to my dad's illness.
Well, Dad took his last walk two weeks ago. In his last days, I learned a very valuable lesson -- the Five Balls - from a turbo-cool hospice nurse named Kelly. Here's how it went down:
A few days before my dad passed, I was grilling Kelly to learn EXACTLY when my dad would pass. His death was imminent, but I had already canceled or rescheduled so much work; I didn't want this to be a false alarm. Kelly candidly but gently advised that it would be just a couple of days. Then she looked straight into me and said:
â€œRebecca, I'm going to share with you my philosophy of life. Each of us is given five balls. One is rubber and four are glass. The rubber ball is work. If you drop it, it will always bounce back. The other four glass balls are family, friends, health and integrity. If you drop them, they are shattered. They won't bounce back.'
I write this blog as a woman who derives a good bit of her esteem from the rubber ball. I work hard, and I love it. Then something comes between you and that rubber ball. In my case, it was my dad's passing. When the rubber ball is taken out of play, what's left? How well do we manage our glass balls?\n\nEven more, I realize that our family, health and friends often happen TO us. There's little we can do to change circumstances around a parent's death, a divorce, or diagnosis of a life-changing disease. But Integrity is what we bring to the event. We can control and manage our integrity.\n\nWhen teabags are met with hot water, they don't break. They have integrity. Rather than contract, they expand and release their full flavor.\n\nHaving Integrity -- that final glass ball - means keeping our word, acting in alignment with our deepest held principles, telling our truth, and doing our very best in each moment.\n\nWorthwhile readers, I wish you great success in valuing and managing ALL five of the balls you've been given.\n