What if ?
I recently came across this post on facebook. I don't remember who had posted it, I did thank them and I shared it with all my friends as well. This for me was one of those things you read that settles comfortably into your soul, a truth you know put to words. I haven't been able to get this phrase out of my mind, it keeps popping up throughout the day, when I am in line at the grocer, driving in traffic, or running my usual route around the island. I guess you could say this is my creed, a definite change from how I lived my life before September of 2008.
Oh, when I think back on how my mind worked in those days, I am ashamed. I was honestly living like I had all the time in the world. Never a thought to how I was wasting precious time holding grudges, carrying slights by others with me like weights around my ankles. Staying in relationships or friendships that were unfulfilling, or working at a job that was agony to go to each and every day. Telling myself that, yes, next year I'll see the Grand Canyon. As soon as "blank" is done or happens I'll make that trip to Europe. I can go see the sunset tomorrow, oh the sun will be coming up another day and I'll get up early for that one.
Don't let struggle become your identity
The catalyst for change for me was the big C. I remember the very moment, in slow motion. Driving home from Portland, Brian called my cell, he had just spoken to the radiologist he had once worked with and she had called him at our home as soon as my path results were done. The lesion was cancerous. My first thoughts are in the lines above. All the things I hadn't achieved, all the things that I would miss, all the things left undone, came rushing through my mind. At that moment I didn't really look back, I only looked at what was lost.
life is short, buy the lipstick
I have since that time changed my perspective. I view each day as it unfolds and make choices of joy, collecting moments like treasures. Regardless of the time of day or where I might be rushing to, if something wonderful is presented to me I stop and take it in. I remember walking in Ogunquit with Brian a couple of years ago, one of those oppressively busy days with hordes of tourists clogging the sidewalks. The potted flowers outside of one particular shop were astounding, the perfect mix of colors, so vibrant, so healthy and just loaded with blooms. I stopped to watch as more than 50 people walked by and not one of them even noticed the beauty right there in front of them. So you see each and everyday I make an effort to add another memory to my scrapbook of life.
It is always now.
I see people differently as well. I am drawn to those that also choose joy. When I do find myself with someone that is completely consumed with things that are not bringing them joy, an argument they feel the need to discuss ad nauseum, focusing on the negative and feeding the monster, I am heartbroken for them, I want to grab them and shake them and and tell them, "you could be hit by a bus tomorrow, eat that piece of cake !!!" But I do not, it is their path to walk and not my place to preach, but I do say a silent prayer that grace will find them and joy won't be far behind.
So here's to making it count, each and every day, and a prayer that joy is your pursuit. Have a look at this video for some inspiration.