Monday, November 12, 2012
Life is short...
Life is short! How many times have we heard that refrain... and how many times have we nodded our heads in agreement and then just gone on with our lives. This phrase hit home hard with me this week as I lost a dear friend and sorority sister. She was only 49 years old, too early to pass on, we all said. I then learned yesterday of the deaths of two high school classmates each of whom also died at the age of 49. Forty-nine.. my age. All three women left children, friends, and families behind.
The loss of someone you care about makes you acutely more aware of the death and loss that surrounds you. Every single day, we hear of the loss of life somewhere in the world. Accidents, disease, war, natural disaster- people are dying, or as I like to think about it- transitioning to the other side on a daily basis. We are all headed there which is a thought that is both scary and conforting at the same time. It still hurts when someone passes on and we grieve in spite of the fact that they are not truly gone...just somewhere else. Even when you believe in life after death, in heaven or reincarnation and a heavenly love-filled otherside as I do, the people we love are no longer here, no longer with us on earth.
So if death is unavoidable, what is there to learn from the passing of those in our lives? It sounds so cliche, but for me it really does go back to the idea of "life is short." So often we take life for granted and these deaths are certainly a wake up call to me. Enjoy every precious second, squeeze every drop of joy out of life, treasure those you love, don't let fear stop you from trying to live your dreams and petty disagreements should not ruin relationships. The phrase "don't sweat the small stuff" has never had more meaning to me then it does today.
Have you ever met someone who lives life with the motto of living with joy? They are fabulous to have around and are generally surrounded by people who just want to be near them. Why? Because they are not complaining, arguing, judging others, trying to gather more "stuff" or wondering what others think of them. They are living in the moment and finding joy and peace even in the tough times. I want to be one of them. I am not there yet, but I strive to be.
All I can do, all any of us can do is to start today. Start over and work toward a life where every moment is precious. I heard a saying once- "While you complain about your life, someone else is wishing they had just one more day left in theirs." I will make an even more concerted effort now to seek joy and beauty, to savor a good book, to learn, to take risks to pursue my dreams, to write, to enjoy the company of others and myself and above all be grateful for my blessings. I will work to block negativity, anger, and toxic words and thoughts from myself and others. Life really is a more peaceful and joy-filled experience when you filter and control what you allow to rent space in your head.
Life is short. I am guessing that my friend and classmates would tell me to start living it to the fullest because there are no promises as to how long it will last.