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“You define what is important to you by what you dedicate your time to.” – J. Sprinkles

Last week at a conference for business owners, I wanted the leaders to open up their hearts, their minds, and their mouths at the beginning of the day.

So, after sharing names and where they were from, I asked that they share about the one individual they wished they could have lunch with again – and why.

The leaders were given a few moments to reflect on the question. I then had them share at their tables. The room erupted.

Names were shared, reasons were given, laugher, tears and emotion filled the room. After a few minutes I quieted the room and prepared to speak, when a gentleman from the back of the room barked out, “What about you, John? Who would you want to meet for lunch?”Easy. My Grandpa. He was a great man. He was the son of a doctor who also farmed in his spare time. Grandpa grew up during the recession, served in the Pacific during World War II, was a faithful husband, doting father, generous person and amazing grandfather.

For several years in my late 20’s we met for lunch almost every Tuesday.

We both loved Chinese food, he refused to let me pay, but more than that, I just loved being with my grandfather. He had a big laugh, a bigger heart, a healthy appetite, and had a zest for life. I loved those lunches and I loved my time with him.

But as my life got busier, my reasons for not going expanded, too. When the phone would ring on Tuesday mornings and the familiar, deep voice would bellow the request, “Want to meet at the Chinese place, John?” My answer was often, “Next time, Grandpa.”

My friends, we are all stretched thin and balancing extremely full dance cards. We are asked to do more with less professionally. We have more activities to attend, more events to participate, more carpools to drive, more things to do than ever before. We can’t do it all in life.

But here is what we can do: take the time each day to focus on the important. Take the opportunities to be fully present with the people who matter most. Take the chance each day to risk, to love, to serve, to impact. Take the time to stop being so darn busy and to choose instead to focus on the few things, people, moments that are most important.

Don’t confuse being really busy with being effective. Don’t confuse being out of bed with being fully alive. And don’t confuse trying to say yes to everything with being on fire for the things, the people that matter most.

In order to say yes to the most important, we must we bold enough to say no to the things, the tasks, the stuff that is less so. None of us are too busy, it’s just a matter of prioritizing.

For you see, your priorities inform your decisions, your decisions decide your days, and your days determine your life. [Tweet this.]

This is your day to define what is important to you by what you dedicate your time to.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

Now it’s your turn! Share about the one person you wish you could have lunch with again and why in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear!

0 replies on “The Death of Next Time”

I’d love to have lunch just one more time with my Dad. (He passed away in 2005). He grew up one of 7 kids on a farm during the depression and never complained a day in his life. He always enjoyed life and had a big, hearty laugh that always made everyone else laugh. The other reason he was fun to have lunch with is because he had an uncanny ability to always “wear” half of his lunch on his shirt. He would always spill something on shirt and comment that he was just “saving it for later.” It always seemed silly at the time but I use it on my own kids now. He was a great man.

I would to have lunch with my grandmother, Anna Richter. She gave wonderful hugs. She nourished my faith. She loved me and all her grandchildren with all her heart. She shared stories of her childhood and life with me. She lived my children as well. I was lucky enough to record her story and her recipes. Every year, at Christmas, my daughters and I make her special Christmas cake. She came over from Austria Hungary, lived through 2 world wars, the depression, the space age and worked until she was 65. A truly special woman!

I would want to break the rule and have two people for lunch. Both of my grandfathers! Both had an amazing zest for life, but both very different people. They both taught me some like and some very different lessons. Both of them died way to young in my life. I miss them both dearly and would love to have lunch with them one last time!

Lunch with either of my grandmothers. Grandma Tanzini had more love in her little finger than anyone had in there whole body. She died when I was 7, I feel that she has been my guardian angel since. Or Grandma Gracik, she has been my angel on earth. I wouldn’t be where I am now if I didn’t have the love and support that she gave unconditionally. I am truly blessed.

I’m sure everyone would think I would say my mother or my father, but it would be my best friend Kim, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning when she was just 49. We had such plans for her 50th birthday! Sadly, none of that came to pass. Kim had been my best friend since she was 10 and I was 11…39 years full of love and laughter and support. She was there when I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer, I was there when she went through an ugly divorce, and we raised our 4 daughters, my 2 and her 2 to know that always had 2 mommas to lean on. She was more than my friend, she was my sister and the hole that losing her left in my heart will never, ever be filled.

I’d want to have lunch with my mother! She was a beautiful, caring, humble woman who was a shining example to me in so many ways. I wish I had more time with her…but she died a few days after my 25th birthday. At 50, I’ve lived half my life without her here. I remember many years ago standing in line alone at a Subway restaurant. I noticed a grown woman in line in front of me, obviously with her mother. They were simply discussing the menu and the woman was sweet to her elderly mother and carefully making sure she understood what her mother wanted to eat in order to get it right. I smiled to myself at how wonderful the scene I just experienced, and wondered if they really knew how blessed the two of them are to simply be able to enjoy having lunch together like that. The next thing I knew, I was overcome with emotion and sadness at not being able to experience that with my own mother again. So, definitely, without a doubt, my mother is who is want to have lunch with. :-). <3

My dad, he died when he was just 64. We were never real close as I was growing up. I did not fully appreciate all the sacrifices he made for me and also never understood the horrible childhood he had. I wish that we could just talk and I could ask him about so many things….facing life’s challenges, kids moving away, the empty nest. Most of all I would just want to tell him thst I love him and thank him for all he did for us.

My daddy would be the person I would love to have lunch with one more time. He always took care of his family. He raised 3 children and mom didn’t know work all while b I got legally blind. He didn’t stop because he couldn’t see well. He lived strong and courageous. He helped and influenced other people in their journey as well.

My Father, who for years, did not give me the time of day, or have time to share because he was spread so thin with 7 children. Then when the older siblings moved out and I graduated from college and got married, he started to brag on me. Then he helped my wife and I move into our 1st house together. 60 days later he died.

I would want to have lunch with my mom. She passed away 13 and a half years ago. She loved the Lord and was full of wisdom. She also knew how to say just the right thing when I was having a pity party. It might not be the thing I wanted to hear, but it was always the thing I needed. I look forward to the day I will see her again in heaven.

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