Sunday, November 11, 2012

What Really Matters

Ran across an article in the paper that gave a pause for some thought. Part of what surprised me was the depth of the article. What also surprised me was the author of the article, a person that I wasn't sure had the capability of such deep and thoughtful expression.

The author is a recently retired columnist from our local newspaper. She was a fashion and society columnist and her writings were lighthearted and fun for the most part. She was considered a bit silly by many people, not exactly known for her serious nature. Some people didn't think a lot of her writings, but I generally enjoyed her column just because it was unique and fun.

She had an essay in the paper today and the subject was surprising to me. The sub title was:

"Why can't we, all of us, remember that every day is precious?"

It seems that the author had been recently corresponding by email with a longtime friend. The friend's husband had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The author was troubled with how to respond appropriately and express her sympathy, concern, etc. The author was surprised and impressed by what her friend had expressed about their situation and her husband's terminal illness.

Her friend said, " Currently we are living life at full speed and greedily taking the time for ourselves. We accept the timeline given to us, but we will not accept the slipping away of life without living." Every day is now precious to them and their love with each other has been reignited.

What about those days, when you don't feel very well or it seems like many things have gone wrong? It's easy to fall in bed after a bad day and think " Thank goodness this day is over!" On the contrary, how hard it is, after the same type of day, to fall in bed and say "Thank goodness I had this day, and I can start again with a new day tomorrow!"

The timing of reading this column was a bit ironic to me. Yesterday had been a frustrating day. I was dead tired when I went to bed last night. It wasn't a totally awful day, I was able to get a few things accomplished, but I wanted to get a lot more done. In my frustration I became angry and lashed out verbally a few times. I admit thinking that I was glad the day was over as I literally collapsed into my bed last night.

I know, it's just an attitude. The desire to remain positive is obviously desirable, but frequently difficult. And as many of us know, when faced with health issues that can be frustrating, sometimes that positive attitude is elusive.

I was glad I saw this column in the paper this morning. It helped. I have a new respect for the author. She obviously "gets it".
How about it?
How about some life at full speed! (Or Full Throttle!)
Sounds good to me!
How about you?
Ride On and Carpe Diem, my friends!


  1. The appreciative at all costs attitude diminishes the really good days. I'm glad I'm a first world resident but within the choices I get to make some days suck, no doubt about it. Never quite as much as the Afghan families blown to pieces by US drones but suck nonetheless. Pancreatic cancer rates as a death sentence so while I'm unlikely to be blown up in Waziristan I am likely to get cancer and die. So yes every day is colored by that thought. No diagnosis today so that was a good day.
    The word verification is driving me crazy. Try dumping it and see how well logger keeps the spam at bay. You'll be amazed.

  2. As we both know, life can change in the time it takes to blink an eye. It seems the trick is to balance the knowledge of today really being the only day of life I have, while planning as if I will live forever. I pass up much less today than I once did. I know life is short and I know my Dad is still kicking butt and taking no prisoners at 84. Balance. Great post.

  3. Living in the moment and being appreciative of every single day as a gift is my basic life philosophy.

    I find it a challenge to live it, but it calls me to rise up above my troubles and anxieties and recognize my blessings.

    I have learned a simple, but profound, lesson from my dogs: live in the moment, focus on the present, appreciate any treats offered or crumbs dropped from the table!

    Ya never know when they are coming or what they will be, but it's gonna be good! Woof!