Everyday, people are born and people die. We read the papers, we glance at articles, we exclaim “oh, how sad” or “wow” and then we move on. Because none of this affects us. None of this makes a difference to our lives.
That was me until last week.
I was home in Australia visiting family (more on that saga next post) and we were watching the news, listening to a story about the 8th Australian soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. Sad stuff. But made even sadder by the fact that we knew this guy. We knew him well. he was one of my brother’s closest friends. He was a true mensch – a good guy, a true friend, a guy who was always ready with a smile. He was a good and brave soldier and an even better friend to have around.
So we were watching the news, shocked and speechless. I watched my brother cry when he came over that night. I watched him sob. And I thought of all the things unsaid and never to be said.
I thought of all the families suffering these kinds of losses; all the friends sitting around in shock; all the grandparents mourning grandchildren when it really should be the other way around in life. I got thinking about all the stupid things we focus on in life instead of the important things.
Nobody wishes they’d worked more or fought more at the end of their days. Nobody rejoices in ignored passions. Instead of focusing on the shit in life, focus on your family, on your friends, on you. Instead of obsessing about the size of your jeans, focus on being healthy and happy. Maybe being a size 2 isn’t in your cards and you’ll be happier as a size 6. Spend more time with your family instead of counting calories or wrinkles.
Count your laugh lines and laugh out loud. Tell your parents that you love them even if they annoy you – because love is deeper than a minor irritation. Hug your friends.
I’m sorry for the morose post but the last 2 weeks have been eventful and thought-provoking. My grandmother died, my brother got engaged, then GS died. I may be jetlagged but I’m determined not to spend 2009 obsessing about the small stuff but instead loving the big stuff and focusing on the good stuff. I have an amazing family that I don’t get to see enough but I tell them that I love them all the time. I have amazing friends, both here and in Australia and I’m so lucky – I need to cherish them more. I have a great job and a great passion. I want to write more this year and live more. I want to live consciously instead of wondering where the year went come December 2009.
Who’s with me?