Usually my posts are based on my individual ethical or moral opinions, but very rarely do I divulge personal information.
This post I am.
In the past month, I’ve witnessed, with deep sadness, my three children bury their paternal grandmother, watch their maternal grandfather’s health continue to decline, and sent my firstborn off to college.
So what does this mean?
It means a lot.
It has shown me that life is fragile and that “Father Time” waits for no one. There are no exceptions to this rule.
I remember when I first had children, I’d hear the generations before me painfully tell their tales of angst over their sick parents or their children leaving home, and I’d think to myself, “I’ve got plenty of time before that happens or it will never happen to me.”
It’s called the “sandwich generation”: Your children are still being raised, your parents are getting older, and you must tend to both.
But right before my eyes the time just flew. I’m serious. All the while I was thinking that I had all the time in the world, when in fact my children were growing up and my parents were aging.
It happened overnight.
We always seem to wish for different circumstances; marriages we wish were better, relationships or friendships we pray had worked out, personal adversities we silently plead would reverse, boredom we hope would dissipate, and mistakes we want to turn around.
But all the while we’re longing for these changes, time is sailing by, and while we yearn for these reversals – days, seasons and years are elapsing right before our eyes without us even noticing.
It just happens. Silently. We don’t even hear it. It creeps up quietly.
Like a whisper.
And all of a sudden, we see what’s important. We realize that life is all about beginnings and endings. There’s no real way to avoid it other than to really appreciate what we have when we have it.
As my mother would always say, “Karin, nothing lasts forever. Enjoy what you have while it lasts.”
Those that know me, know I am not a big advocate of change or letting people I love easily out of my life. If I love you, then you remain in my life forever — even if the dynamics change.
If you read my blog, then you know I’m a firm believer in authenticity as well.
I’m a huge advocate for focusing on the gifts that we receive rather than dwelling in the house of deficit – the house of what could be or what could have been or what never was.
Sometimes we are so focused on what we are not getting and what hasn’t worked out, that we turn a blind eye to what has really gifted us in ways we’re slow to even realize or appreciate.
What I have learned in my life is that out of misfortune, there is usually a lesson or another door of opportunity opening if we choose to see it.
If we don’t see it, then we miss the relevant offerings presented to us because we are so focused on what is wrong versus what we still have and what may be coming to us.
When our focus is primarily on our battles or our inner demons, we miss what is actually occurring all around us.
Time is elapsing. Rapidly.
And while we are wishing for change - change is in fact happening. It’s happening at an accelerated pace.
It’s happening at a rate we might not even be prepared for. It’s happening without us even knowing it.
Parents are aging, children are growing up, and all of a sudden we are at a crossroads with our own lives, questioning the decisions we’ve made and the people we’ve allowed into or leave out of our lives.
Because life is so fragile and moments so fleeting, my advice is to concentrate on what is relevant, what will have meaning and what will bring genuine importance to each of you.
Pay attention to your children, focus on your parents, direct your attention on your special friends, your passions. Consider what will have lasting importance and significance in the end.
Those are the things that matter.
Life is about living – and it’s happening, even when our attention is elsewhere.
We can’t get back the moments we lose, so don’t let them go.
They never come back.
So cherish what you have, treasure what’s been given, and value what’s been granted because tomorrow is unknown.
Until next time,