Watching Oprah on rerun tonight was a great reminder that all of us have defining moments in our lives. Oprah highlighted Glamour Magazines’ contest of Reel Moments, by Real Women and showed the Hollywood actors and famous women who directed their first films. She showed clips of many of the short films about the contest winners life changing moments.

Of course we all remember major events such as when we met our spouse or when we had our babies, but what about the moments that were ours and ours alone? What about the moments that challenged the very core and the every existence of our being?
I recently had such a moment.

I have lived much of my adult life running from event to event, from moment to moment. I prided myself as being one of the fastest walkers in NY when I lived there, which meant that I was beating all of the other Type A’s when racing to the next meeting. I’ve lived with constant anxiety and stress and lived the life of cramming as much in a day as I could, often at the expense of my family. I was an email junkie and got that adrenaline rush like a junkie who needs a hit when emails arrived. I suppose in my mind, I thought that the emails from friends were little messages that told me that I was important or that someone cared. That addiction took me away from the people who really cared, mainly, my family. Thank God, I had a miraculous intervention!

I believe that there are some people in life that you’re supposed to meet at a certain time. My only regret about meeting Inevette was that I didn’t meet her sooner. But God’s timing is perfect and He must have known that I was supposed to hear the message that His messenger was to bring me.

A few weeks ago, Inevette and I made an appointment to walk on a Friday morning. On that particular Friday morning, I had the weight of the world resting on my shoulders. Every decision I had to make was earth shattering, and I didn’t feel I had the strength to deal with all of the issues that were facing me. On our walk, I tried not to trouble Inevette with my worry and my frustration, but in our natural course of talking, the real story tumbled out. I shared with her what was going on in my life and my husband’s life, and with my son. I shared everything with her because I knew somehow, she’d understand and perhaps offer a word of encouragement. What I got instead was a suggestion that we go walk in the local cemetery.

As we turned into the gate, she spread her arms out and told me to take a look around. I stopped and took in the sights of the thousands of plots with flowers covering the gravesites. What she said, shook me to my core. She said, “Mary? All of this running you’re doing? Well, here is what you’re running to. We all are. This is where you’re going to end up. Sooner or later, you’re going to end up here.

At that moment, it was like I got the wind sucked right out of me. I started to say something but no words would come. I just looked at the plots and realized, she was right. And who knew when my day, or anyone’s day for that matter, would come. One day, I’ll probably be buried right here in the Glen Haven Cemetery. What a shocker THAT was!

She continued to challenge me. Are all of these things I’m obsessing about really important? Is it really going to matter in the long run if I make a wrong decision or not? No! What really matters is how I live my life, and if I’m living with all of this stress, the only side effect is that I’ll be hittin’ that ol’ gravesite a heck of a lot earlier than I’d have to otherwise.

As we continued to walk and talk, I felt the stress release from my body. I made a decision to relax and enjoy the ride a bit more. I knew that the real me wasn’t supposed to be so stressed. I’m a gal who enjoys laughing and having fun. I’m the girl who can make a party out of waiting in line at the grocery store or dry cleaners with a bunch of complete strangers, and I had let a lot of that girl go and had replaced her with a stressed out, anxiety ridden, wound up working mother toting around all of the weight of the world.

How I’ve changed since then? I’m choosing to have faith instead of being flustered. I’m calmly walking through life and have chosen to and AM laughing more. Today I took the whole day and played with my 6 year old son, and found that he has the most amazingly delightful and hysterically funny personality. Today, we played store together, went bike riding, and swimming, and just enjoyed spending time with each other. Of course, I deeply regret, the many years he’s experienced of me as a stressed out mama. But, I’m now hoping I can make up for lost time and I’m dedicated to spending more quality time with him, to be a better helpmate to my husband. We’ll still honor the work we do, and do the best we can, with the best attitude we can. And, we’ll have fun in the process!

Walking through the cemetery changed my mind, my focus and my attitude. I woke up and realized.. I WANT TO LIVE!!! I’m here on earth to live abundantly, and to live my life fully. And now, I want to share that message of living life fully and completely, with the world.