Skip to main content

What I Learned

Recently I learned of a 48-year-old father of three who passed away after a long battle with a rare cancer. The same week, I learned of a 35-year-old man who had his third heart attack. If that weren’t bad enough, he was on his honeymoon at the time and the extent of the damage he’s sustained is still unknown.

When we know someone facing a life threatening situation or someone who has lost their battle, we immediately take stock of our good fortune. We vow to take better care of ourselves, and immediately tell those around us how much we care.

We are reminded of what really matters in life.

Then time passes. And the acute awareness of our good fortune loses its immediacy. We get wrapped up in the day to day, the mundane, and even our wishes – perhaps for more. And so the cycle continues until there is another loss.

I was discussing this phenomenon with my boyfriend, as it appeared to me as nothing other than ingratitude. Several years ago his best friend passed away unexpectedly and without apparent cause. He explained that he longed to be (able to be) distracted by the ordinary, if it weren’t that sadness and despair are so great in the face of such tragedy.

He also explained that to move on is not to forget, it is to survive. And to get wrapped up in the routine aspects of life does not (have to) equate to ingratitude.

I’ve experienced many losses – aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins – with only memories and family stories to sustain them.  Looking back I see that moving on is natural not disrespectful, and that to live my day to day is just…life.

But in that life there is room for thanks everyday. So, I remind myself to appreciate each day, mundane or otherwise. Who knows how many we will have.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 simple joys

Recently "Chewbacca Mom" reminded the world that life is about the "simple joys". Think about it - more of  life is about the everyday moments than the sexy milestones. Though I've written a lot here about gratitude, this got me reflecting yet again on the simple joys I am thankful for. This is my list right now, though in no way complete.
1. Snuggling under a cozy duvet 2. That first sip of freshly brewed coffee in the morning 3. Hugging my partner tightly 4. Smiling to strangers and getting smiles back 5. Taking in a beautiful skyline view 6. Mastering a new skill that was unknown to me 7. Being awakened by the chirping birds outside my window each morning 8. Watching a scary movie and jumping with fright (this is a guilty pleasure, I'll admit) 9. Grocery shopping with my partner (yes I know, weird but true - we are talking simple!) 10. Camping adventures (s'mores included ;))
What are your simple joys?

Finding what speaks to you

For some time, my partner and I have been talking about devoting time together to a local cause we believe in. Fuelled by our own sense of gratitude and desire to make a small difference, we considered a few options. And though there are so many wonderful causes to choose from, nothing seemed a perfect match.  That is until we found The Furniture Bank.
The Furniture Bank is a Canadian non-profit dedicated to providing gently used household furnishings to families in need. With my new but growing background in design, and my partner's handyman skills, this was the cause we had been searching for.  Volunteers can assist clients with furniture selection, prepare furniture for delivery, provide marketing or administrative support, and/or repair furniture. If you'd like to say hello, come by and you'll find us in the furniture workshop giving pieces a second life.
So, if you're also considering volunteering for a cause, start by asking yourself what's important to you. Po…

I'm not Thinking about It

Meditation. Eastern philosophers have long touted its great benefits. Westerners attempt it with varying levels of success.
According to Wikipedia, meditation is “any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit.”