Saturday, January 2, 2010

Welcome 2010!!

My recent posts have had a bit of a different tone than those from a few months ago, when I was actively shifting my priorities and being more inspiring. With the New Year upon us, and many of you surely making some resolutions, I figured it is the ideal time to revert back to sharing some of what I am learning and hopefully inspire some new outlooks for your new year.

My journey since diagnosis has crammed a lot of reactions, emotions, adventures, attitude changes and enlightenment into less than a year. I've made a conscious effort to make things happen in my life, and to change my priorities and the way I look at things. This has worked out well and led to the following highlights and changes over the past few months:

- Europe trip!
- Skydiving
- Seeing many new places
- Trying to see old places with new eyes
- More frequent visits with family
- Hugging more
- Letting things go quickly
- Seeing more beauty in the world
- I've banned the word "someday"
- Saying "why not?" as often as possible
- I actually want my picture taken now
- Looking for new things to experience
- I booked my upcoming mother-daughter cruise with Joss

Most importantly I've begun actively living, after realizing that this is my life and not a dress rehearsal; it's already begun and this is the only shot we get. I spent the last 40 years waiting for things to happen -- things that I would say I’d love to do "someday" -- and then one day I realized these desires don't just come. You have to make things happen, and making things happen is a big part of the fun of the whole adventure!

I think that many people in my position develop the same sort of attitude. Once you know you have limited time left, people make changes. Yet the reality is that we all have limited time left. It’s sad to see people who are simply existing through their time, not particularly happy, but making no effort to change what they are not happy with, or people with dreams of doing something or going somewhere, that never make it happen. We hold grudges, procrastinate, and put work before family. These are the things that we regret on our deathbeds. “I wish I had made up with my mother,” “I wish I had spent more time with my kids.” These are the things that are really important to us in the end, and we realize them too late. I am fairly certain that in the history of deathbed regrets, no one has ever said “I wish I had skipped my son’s baseball game to get that contract done.”

Therefore I am welcoming 2010 equipped with this motive: live life the way I would wish I had if I were on my deathbed. This looks different to everyone, but to me that means loving, hugging, sharing, letting go of anger, not taking for granted the preciousness of my friends and family, and seeing and experiencing the world.

So, if you are working on your own list of changes to make 2010 better, I hope you will consider dropping from your list “lose 10 pounds” and replacing it with “hug someone every day.”

I love you all


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