I am one of those people who enthusiastically celebrate the start of each new year. Everything is fresh and open and possible – and for the most part, last year’s events are softened just enough to be put into perspective.
This foray into the expansive and exciting world of What-if inspires me to make resolutions – sometimes many, sometimes just a few. This year I’ve narrowed all of my goals and plans and hopes into one personal directive:
Take full advantage of the Now. Fill even the smallest moments with work that matters, connections that last and creativity that feels right.
Oh, it’s not to say that there will not be an odd hour, or let’s be honest, even the occasional day, lost to old black and white movies and a late morning nap, but overall, I want to fully utilize this great thing called living.
In 2003 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and life immediately became … fragile. Within seconds I had absolute understanding that this 40 year-old life of mine life was gigantic, loving and precious – but it could be lost without fanfare – without hope for another chance.
Before my doctor even finished saying, ‘I’m so sorry,’ I completely understood the simplicity and enormity of being human – to love and care and be involved. And I also accepted the serious commitment that life demanded, no matter if it lasted a few more months, or many years.
In my heart, I finally knew that being alive was more than frothy dreams about tomorrow, or carrying grudges from past wounds, or feeling weak, or being shy or languishing in self-criticism.
Being alive is actually dancing in the rain, splashing in the winter ocean in bare feet even for a second, giving flowers to strangers for no reason, and letting go of people – even family members – who need time and space to find their own way.
Following that head-spinning diagnosis and the ensuing medical whirlwind, I woke up laughing and grinning every day for years. Literally grinning and giggling.
I rarely do that anymore and miss it terribly, but each day I look forward to a bright start. Each morning is a quasi New Year’s Day if you will, that invites me to begin life once again with joy, work and appreciation …
… and to remember how fragile it all is.