Not to be all depressing and morose, but this past week has been kind of sad. I’ve heard one bad story after another. A friend’s 17-year-old daughter diagnosed with ovarian cancer; a cousin’s 28-year old son’s thyroid cancer diagnosis; a co-worker of my husbands with a blood disease so rare I’ve never heard of it nor can I pronounce it or understand just how the body can turn on itself that way.
I’ve had my personal share of cancer-at-an-early-age, and with that, there’s always that jolt, otherwise known as a wake-up call: it spurs you into action to do something, change something, make promises to yourself, turn your life around.
And while energizing and clarifying, sadly, it fades (like our memory does) over time.
So now it’s wake-up time redux, because after all, I’m reminded that nothing is forever and – for risk of sounding cliche – each and every day is truly a blessing. I realize everyone has their own version of a wake-up call; that is, if they’re lucky enough to have them. I hate to think that they’re lucky at someone else’s expense; at someone else’s misfortunes (or even their own), but unfortunately sometimes it takes things like that to lull us out of complacency and make us see the world just a bit differently.
- Don’t rush. Take things slower and you’ll miss much less.
- When all around you is buzzing with chaos and activity, learn to shut out the madness instead of absorbing it like a sponge.
- Attempt to forgive (or at least, try to let go of bad feelings). Holding a grudge eats up your emotional bandwidth. Forgiving another person is not saying that what they did was right or not hurtful, but it’s actually a gift to yourself.
- Pay attention to what other people say, even though you think they’re not the kind of person you’d learn from. Sometimes the best advice comes from a source you least expect.
- Don’t judge people (see above) until you have confirmation that the way you “feel” is true reality.
- Celebrate friends. Make sure you let them know how you feel about them. True friends are hard to come by, and they’re precious and as necessary as air.
- Don’t worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. Chances are it won’t happen at all, and then you’ve wasted precious energy on the “what ifs” of life. And worry never changes outcomes, anyway.
- It’s never, ever, too late to learn something new. Our capacity for knowledge is endless.
- It’s never too late to start to exercise/learn better eating habits/improve your health/change your ways.
- It’s impossible to be good at everything. Once you drop that notion, you can focus on doing a few things really well.
Surely there can be more than just 10 things on my list…please add you own!