Happy Friday, Dear Readers,
This week I had the opportunity to interview two people who have been up close and personal with death. One was a man who suffered a severe heart attack–three of his arteries were at least partially blocked, and one was 90% blocked. To use proper medical terminology, his situation was NOT GOOD. He had only a 50-50 chance of surviving the ride to the hospital, and this is a man who ran every day, had a personal trainer, and didn’t smoke, drink, or eat junk food. In other words, he was doing everything right.
The second person I spoke to was an executive director for an organization that raises money for cancer research and treatment. Every day, she is in close contact with people fighting cancer. Even with all of today’s advances, a lot of people still lose that fight. It’s a job that can be very hard on the heart.
Interesting enough, though their circumstances are very different, both people I interviewed had come to the same conclusion: life is precious, and we shouldn’t waste a single moment of it. We never know how much time we have left.
How often have we heard that? Live each day to the fullest. Live each day like it’s your last. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Easy to say, not so easy to do. What if you spend most of your time in a job you despise (or just plain tolerate), but you can’t afford to quit? What if you don’t find household chores that fulfilling, but they still have to get done? If you don’t have the means to move to a sunny island and do whatever the heck you want with your days, how do you live each day to the fullest?
The heart attack survivor realized that, while his lifestyle was near-perfect, his stress level was not. So he left his job at an inner-city school and now works at a school that doesn’t make him tear out his hair with worry. He travels a lot, and he’s gone back to the running that he loves. He’s also added more stress-reducing exercises, like yoga and meditation, to his life.
The executive director spends every moment she can with her family and friends. She seizes opportunities to get outdoors and read a good book, and when her life gets really stressful, she listens to her favorite music to unwind.
I’ll be honest…I don’t want my life to always be the way it is now. I’d love to spend my time walking along the ocean, and then retreating to my covered porch to work on my latest novel. Sun, surf, sand, words, and loved ones to share it all with…that is my idea of the perfect life. But until then, I have to make the most of the good things I have going on right now. I just enjoyed a picnic lunch prepared by a dear friend, who showed me around her new place of work and told me how wonderful her new job is going. It’s wonderful to finally see her be so appreciated by the people she works for. It’s a beautiful day, sunny and warm and bright, even though wasps did force us to move the picnic inside. Before that, though, an adorable grey and white cat came by to say hello and share my chicken. I have a one-on-one training session with the world champion today, and these sessions are always a lot of fun. Olivia is such a positive person that I always feel better after I’ve seen her. When I get home, I’ll have a rare moment to myself, as The Boy is out with a friend tonight. Maybe I’ll write a little. Or read, while enjoying a good soak. Either way, it’ll be a pleasant evening.
Tomorrow, The Boy and I will be going to the zoo to see all the new baby animals. It’ll be a gorgeous day for it, and who knows how much summer we have left? Best to get out and enjoy it while we can. And on Sunday, a girlfriend and I are taking a drive to a picturesque town, where we’ll eat lunch at an old-school diner and walk along the river.
Maybe life isn’t perfect. It rarely is. But if we look hard enough, we can always find the moments that make us glad to be who we are and lucky to live the life that we have. Sometimes, we don’t even have to look that hard.
If you’d like to share how you make the most of your life–or something you’re looking forward to, please do. But in any case, have a great weekend.