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We get so caught up in the almighty dollar. It dictates whether we can eat, or clothe ourselves, what kind of education (if any) we get, and just about everything in between. So many people, myself included, have been too busy “earning a living” to just live. How much time is wasted while waiting for “a better time”. There is no better time than now and tomorrow is not promised.
I didn’t come to this easily. In fact, it took some really harsh smacks by reality to get here. My husband suffered a severe accident at work several years ago. He survived, but he’s not the same. We’ve been mourning that loss ever since. Then my dad developed cancer, I lost 2 grandmothers–one to cancer and one to old age, another family member developed cancer, and an old friend disclosed that she’s now struggling with cancer again. While I have my own health issues, I’ve never had cancer. I cannot possibly begin to understand the personal hell each of these individuals has walked through in their journey. What I can understand is that time keeps moving, and while my job will be there tomorrow, my loved ones may not be. And spending time with friends and family enriches me beyond words.
So here’s a list of things I will not regret:
- Taking time to visit old friends
- Spending time with my family
- Instituting regular family activities with my kids
- Indulging my passion for a good book (or twenty)
- Allowing myself to just be
- Increasing the family musical instrument collection
- Prioritizing down time for both myself and my husband
- All the hours spent holding my babies
- Finding the beauty in every day
- Anything done that brings some joy to someone else.
Instead of focusing solely on survival, I started focusing on the memories. I cannot regret that.
Sometimes little bits of luxury are just that: little. The things that you take for granted until they’re taken from you. Things like your health, the ability to see the sun shining, hot water for a shower. A nice bowl of soup on a cold day. The smile of a child.
This week had the markings of becoming a terrible, no-good, very bad week if I would have let it. Nothing was going right. I was off track and off schedule both of which made me off-kilter. I felt out of control. Yet I managed to pull myself back in.
It was the little things that did it: the perfect cup of coffee, the sunlight shining on the snow, those tiny baby giggles. They didn’t cost me a thing. I have coffee, the snow is just outside the window, and the children are an incredible blessing on their own.
So much of life is about choices. We cannot always choose what happens to us. But we can choose how we deal with it. I can be bitter and angry over things I can’t control or I can be mindful of the blessings I have and all the little (and not-so-little now) luxuries that surround me.
That first cup of coffee in New Orleans! Can’t wait to get back!