I've spent the past week contemplating a lot. The brevity of life has been thrown in my face from far away places (Newtown Conn) to very close by (a 34 year old neighbor across the street dying in a car accident Tuesday). During this time my own son has been away in Chicago. It's the first time he's been that far from us (he's 16), first time we feel he's been way out of our realm of protection.
It sure has made me want to appreciate the people in my life more. My family, my friends, employees, patients, and those that are "on the fringe" where I know them maybe only in passing each other in life from time to time. The frenetic pace at which we tend to live in our Western culture, which is exacerbated 10x during this Christmas season, sometimes gets the best of me. I take people for granted daily. Yes I know that we can be here one minute, and gone the next. That's been painfully obvious this week. On a mental level, I think I get that.
But do I really? Sometimes I'm not so sure. If I were really grasping how significant that concept is, I'd never, ever take for granted one moment I get to spend around those I love. I'd not take it for granted that a friend, or family member that lives far away is only phone call away, and I'd make that call regularly. I'd make sure that I don't get frustrated or lose my temper over silly things my family may do, no matter how many times I've asked them not to do that. I'd spend more time with my family doing life. . I'd turn off the computer in the evenings when I got home and have real conversations with my family. The list could go on. And I fail regularly much of the time on that list. I spent this past Thursday afternoon shopping with my teenage daughter (never done that before with her), and then we wrapped presents together on the living room floor (never done that before either). We didn't do anything spectacular But those are the moments that our life should be made of. For one brief instant, I feel like I hit the mark. I wish I felt that way more often.
There are so many changes I know should be made when reality hits home like it has for me in the past 7 days. How about you? This is a time of year that is often used for reflection, for making plans and goals or resolutions for the upcoming year. My challenge to myself, and you, is to make plans for life, real life. Life that is lived moment by moment with people, friends, coworkers, family etc. Life that impacts and leaves little regret. Oh sure, losing weight and being healthier are important things, but that's only in our physical body, and undoubtedly that will pass away. The relationships we have, or more correctly, the legacy we leave behind through them, are lasting.
Make resolutions this year that will have a lasting impact, resolutions that count. Merry Christmas.
Until next time....Be Well!!