Yesterday, the world changed for many people. A wonderful, sweet and loving man was suddenly taken from us. Every time someone who is seemingly healthy, dies suddenly, it always brings our own mortality to the forefront, at least it does for me anyway. Think about it, every day, we go about the busy-ness of living: going to work, taking children to school, paying bills, doing the laundry, making plans assuming everything will carry on the same as it always has.
When I lost my dad 16 years ago, my world stopped. I found it difficult to believe that life went on, people went about their business: going to lunch, buying stamps, getting their oil changed. How? How could those people not see how awful things had become? the truth is, we all live in our little bubbles, oblivious to what may or may not be happening in the lives of others. My grandmother had things that she considered ‘too nice’ to use on a daily basis, clothing, jewelry, dishes. She was saving them for a ‘special occasion’. The thing about that is, every day is special. I found myself thinking the same thing about a pair of nice earrings once. They’re diamond studs, an anniversary gift. I thought these are too nice for this outfit. But then my thinking changed. Diamonds go with everything, but the reality is every day is a gift, special in its own way.
My point here is this, life is short and fragile. We never know from one minute to the next what can happen. How many times have you been delayed at work for some irritating reason when you’re trying to get somewhere, only to find out there has been a massive pile up on the freeway that happened at the exact time you would have been there?
Take the time to enjoy the journey that is life.
Try new foods.
Wear the clothes that are ‘too nice’ for every day (maybe not the ballgown to work, but…)
Go to the places you’ve always wanted to visit.
Say hello to that guy/gal you’ve wanted to talk to.
Take chances, don’t live with regret.
Be present in your life.
Forgive those who hurt you.
Tell the people you care about how you feel every opportunity you get.
Love without limitations.
Drink lots of water and eat foods that don’t come from a box or can.
Exercise and take care of the vessel that is your body.
Read and challenge your brain.
Put your feet in the ocean at least once.
Accept responsibility for mistakes you’ve made, learn from them and move on. Mistakes do not define who you are.
Learn how to cook at least one dish really well.
Take 5 minutes everyday to just be. Be still, listen to the sounds of the earth and your heart.
Catch snowflakes on your tongue. Watch a bee collect pollen. Watch a squirrel bury its nuts.
Dance in the rain.
Smile at a stranger.
Make donations to charitable organizations that mean something to you.
Spend time outdoors.
Focus on what it is and not on what it is not.
And for Pete’s sake, take as good care of yourself as you do the people and things you have in your life. If you don’t have your health, nothing else matters.
This message brought to you by the ‘appreciate life’ committee (aka me!) And please let me know what additions you’d make to this list!