I am not usually a fan of cliches like the title of this blog but sometimes they are just so fitting. I have been reminded over the last few weeks that life is precious and you never know if you will be promised tomorrow. There were two specific situations that reminded me of this. The first is a friend who had to say goodbye to his wife two weeks after the start of an unexpected medical condition. The other was from a newly met neighbor who lost her husband two years ago and is still feeling lost. She looked me in the eyes and said, “life is short, don’t take it for granted.” Both situations have impacted me and reminded me of how precious life is. Reflecting on these events brought me to two major reminders:
1. Do not put off until tomorrow things that you could do today, especially with your loved ones.
If there is something you have been promising to do with your significant other, your parents or kids, make it happen or start planning it now. The pain of losing them will not lessen, but there will be no regrets should something happen to them before you. I took this to heart and started taking action personally with our family. There has been a lot of focus over the last several months towards our move and getting the house organized so we haven’t really taken time to explore our new location and we were putting off activities until we were settled. We have started to intentionally pause to explore and enjoy all that is around us. We went for a sunset beach walk and searched for shark teeth with the kids. They have been wanting to go over the last several weeks and we made it happen. We also took time out to celebrate our son’s birthday, explore new farmers markets around us and Jake and I have a date night planned this upcoming weekend. These are not big things but the memories and joy created by spending time together is invaluable. There is a country song by Cody Johnson called ’Til You Can’t. If you haven’t heard it, check it out here. It really speaks to this topic.
2. Take care of your health. If not for you, do it for the ones you love.
Your loved ones are who will mourn if you go before they do. They may also have to take care of you if your health degrades and you cannot take care of yourself. My Dad has been an inspiration to me in this area as he has always taken very good care of himself both physically and nutritionally. If you ask him why, he will say it is so he can enjoy as many years as possible with his family. Health has been important to me for the last 21 years (I am 42). Prior to that I didn’t make it a focus but I have learned through the years that it is all I have and if I don’t regularly think about nutrition and activity I feel it in my body.
I am finally getting back into a routine of working out regularly following our move. I joined a cardio workout group in our new community and also get out for morning walks before it gets too hot. The photo for this blog was taken on one of those walks. Nature is amazingly inspiring and I feel grateful when I walk and take time to observe the plants and animals around me. Spending this time in nature allows my mind to drift to gratefulness and ideas on how to show gratitude to others in my life whether that be my family, friends or coworkers. I believe living a positive and grateful life is part of being healthier and avoiding regrets. In comparison, living in negativity and focused on what is going wrong wreaks havoc on your mind and body, regardless of your nutrition and activity.
I had to be reminded that tomorrow is not a guaranteed by two very painful recent events. I will not waste these reminders and hope this short read was valuable for you. Is there anything you have been putting off that you will regret?