I started out this week on Monday morning with a late wake up, major traffic and filled my mug of tea with cold water instead of hot; which really didn’t work out too well. My day and week continued to spiral with nothing quite going right at work, stress levels rising high and lots of things out of my control, but a part of my responsibility, not getting resolved. I had a tough week with my stomach acting up and we received yet another, must be paid in full this month, $500 bill for my healing broken foot.
Then, early in the week I learned of a high school classmate who had been in a snowboarding accident and has been on life support for a week. And while he continues to make progress, that hit me hard, as I have so many family and friends who love the fun on the slopes.
The following day I got a late night phone call from my mom. It was 8:15ish our time so it was 10pm eastern time, which is way too late for my mom to be on the phones, so I knew something was up. She shared with me that one of her dear friends of more than 20 years had lost the battle she’s fought strongly on and off for years.
And then just yesterday morning I learned of the tragic, sudden passing of another high school classmate who leaves behind a beautiful baby boy set to turn three this month. After the week I had and one sad thing after another I found myself nearly paralyzed at my desk at work.
In that moment I started sobbing and thinking back over the last four days and every event and every thing that had gone wrong was crossing my mind. The stress at work, the mistakes, the bills, the argument with my husband the night before, the stomach pains, the everything. And in that moment I thought of those three people from my small home town whose lives have so suddenly changed just days apart from each other. Whose lives have affected those around them both near and far. And it was as if every frustration of the week was non-existent. Nothing mattered any more. It all just instantly rolled off my shoulders as I stood at my computer secretly crying and trying to hold it in just in case someone stopped by my desk.
In the blink of an eye my thought process changed immediately. The gratitude. The love in my life. My health. My husband’s health. A job. A roof over my head. Food to eat. A car to drive. Friends. Family. My life. I felt like I had just been zapped by something. And I had, zapped by reality. The reality that this life of ours is short and beautiful and can not be taken for granted. And that what matters is that I have dinner with my husband at night and not become engulfed in my work. And that life pushes your buttons just to make you stronger. So deal with the traffic and pour another cup of tea and be thankful that you have money to pay that bill, even if it means one less fun thing you get to do.
But most of all to appreciate what’s around you and what you have. To slow down, take time to hug your loved ones and to be thankful. So while I’ll continue to say my prayers for the classmate that’s hospitalized and for the families that lost their loved ones, I’ll also work to slow down and appreciate what I have.
Yesterday I went for a walk to clear my mind, found a bench and sat on it. For a good 20 minutes. I never just sit down. I took in the 65 degree day, the sunshine, the cool breeze, the green trees and the life around me and I promised myself that I would put life into perspective and live it to the absolute fullest.