Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Today is the Greatest

"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans." -John Lennon

You've heard what I am about to say before, either here or somewhere else. But it bears repeating. Especially after two events, one routine and one unbearably tragic, over Thanksgiving.

Thankful for today
When thinking about what I'd like to say at Thanksgiving dinner when my turn to speak would come around, I kept coming back to the same thing for which I am thankful: today. So that's what I said. "I'm thankful for today because tomorrow isn't guaranteed." I've been thinking recently about my dad and my cousin, both of whom died way too soon.

Little did I know at the time I spoke those words at the dinner table that a former co-worker's 19 year-old daughter had died suddenly the day before of apparent cardiac arrest. Just out of the blue. She wasn't sick. Had no prior symptoms. Just died while watching a movie with her mom.

When I hear things like this it makes me wonder how or why something like this would ever happen, COULD ever happen. I pray for my colleague and his wife to find comfort. But at times like these I doubt God, his plan, even his existence. I couldn't fathom the horror of what they are going through.

Not making any comparisons, or making light of it, I also couldn't believe the coincidence given the feelings I had shared at Thanksgiving dinner. That I am thankful for today because tomorrow isn't guaranteed. But if I'm being completely honest, I often wish I would practice what I preach. Even though that heartbreaking tragedy is so fresh in my mind, it's still easier said than done. To carpe the diem.

My wife and I have been slogging through one of those rough patches where it's tough to see the positive in a sea of negatives. She's been having some health issues, we've both been experiencing some added stress at work, and money issues are rearing their ugly head again as a result. Our plans to have a second child have once more been put on hold because of all of the above.

Maybe it's a sign? Maybe we truly ARE meant to be a one-child family. Not that we would be unhappy, because we HAVE considered that prospect.
Maybe it's a test. Of will, of faith, of love. Of patience (something with which I struggle daily).

What's best for them is best for me
But I guess that's how I AM seizing the day. And being thankful for today. By taking care of my family. By giving them the most basic but most crucial parts of me: my heart, my time, my attention. Before putting these thoughts into words I was actually worried we were just going through the motions recently. Existing but not doing. Hoping it gets better. Living with our lives on hold. Now I'm realizing that living IS loving. As is having faith that everything will work out for the best (which I truly believe).

There are things I keep putting off. Starting my book, finding another race to run, fixing the sink in the upstairs bathroom (or calling someone who can). I get mad at myself for being lazy. For procrastinating. But these are all little things, all things considered.

Then I realize that just being there for my wife and the Peanut is the best way to make the most of the day. What's best for my family, and what they need, is what today is all about. What better way to be thankful for today? To make sure they're happy, safe, comfortable. Thats all I can do right now. And that's enough for now. Because tomorrow is not guaranteed.


  1. This state of existing rather than living is something I am finding in my own life as well as several blog posts lately. Our lives have become so busy and the new direction of parenting is much more stressful than that of our parents. Life is also much more expensive than it used to be. I feel for you and I really hope you can enjoy each day to its fullest and I know that it is much easier said than done.

  2. James: Ironically, we embrace the routine we are 'slaves' to (for lack of a better term). Don't get me wrong: I do enjoy most days. And by writing this I came to the realization that it's ok to "exist" for a while. If you're still making the msot of it. That's what I'm trying to do as we tread water for a bit.

  3. Treading water is sometimes simply all we can do. But it sounds like you truly *are* carpe-ing the diem. My mom is in the hospital right now from a heart attack, things in general are very much up in the air for me at the moment in my own life, and I was just feeling this morning how I truly do not know what is going to happen, and it's scary right now. But then I thought, even if things were running smoothly for me, I still wouldn't know what tomorrow would bring. I just have to trust that what will be will be, and that I will be able to handle it when it comes. And just rest in today. Easy? No. Can I at least try? Yes. So, I am. Thanks; I needed this today.

  4. My dad always told me that you should always tell the people you love that you do because it may be the last time you get the chance.

    It's not the most uplifting thing in the world to hear, but it's something I firmly adhere to.

  5. Awesome post. You're pretty much in my head on this one. =/

  6. How absolutely horrible for your former colleague, you're totally right, you never know which day is you're last. two years ago my good friends died because he fell in the docks at night and drowned... he was only 21. What's funny si that on his FB profile he had no information except one quote that read "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die tomorrow"


  7. never ever take it for granted. Funny this theme. We are not promised or guaranteed anything. We have to love and appreciate all we have all the time. YOu conveyed all of that so well here. beautiful.

  8. I get this in my head all the time. It's tough. I will go a few days all gung go on life and then fall back into the pattern of existing all over again. I realized that it's more than OK to do that as long as there is a kick In the pants every now and then. Living like today is your last day is tough. Inevitably you are going to have let downs it's only natural. Thanks for this weeks kick in the pants.

  9. i had never really considered that take....again, i appreciate your insight. food for thought,

  10. awesome post, wow. i needed this today, too.

  11. awesome post, wow. i needed this today too, thanks.

  12. This is a perfect post! Thank you! =]


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