A tragedy occurred in my town this week that has really got me thinking a good deal about life. Big picture stuff. While I don't know the family affected personally, I can't help but mourn their loss. And while I don't know what it's like to lose a teenage son, and I don't know what it's like to lose a sibling, I do know that life throws us curves all the time. At no age are we guaranteed a happy tomorrow. At some point, we are all blindsided by loss of one form or another.
I wouldn't say that I'm a pessimistic person by nature, but I am a planner. Like my dad (a former high school administrator), I always dream up worst case scenarios in any particular situation so I can prepare my self for the worst. Usually the worst doesn't happen, and then I feel relieved and move on. It's like I'm constantly trying to avoid being blindsided. It's a stressful way to live. While I don't think I'll ever stop looking three steps ahead of the path I'm on, I do think I need to shift my focus a bit and guide my thoughts more about the present and less about what 'might' happen next week or month or ten years from now. It really is wasted energy. Energy that could be spent making my kids laugh more and my husband complain less:) (yes, the garage will be cleared out by Saturday)!
I'm not sure what the true 'meaning of life' is. I don't know if I even believe that it's that deep. What I think is important in life, however, is to surround yourself with love. If it's any one thing, I think love is truly what life is all about. It's about loving and being loved. It's about surrounding yourself with the people you care about most. It's about spending your time doing the things you love. That's it. Simple, yet complicated at the same time.
We've had a doozy of a year. There's no doubt about it. We've had more ER visits than I care to think about, starting from the first of the year. I can say with all honestly, however, that today, I feel so darn lucky. So darn happy. I'm writing this post with Charm on my lap and Lucky by my side. Sweet Bill is cooking dinner, and we just spent a fun day with extended family. I figure if at the end of each day, I can look back and know that I've shown the people I love just how happy they make me and how much I care about them, then I'm right where I want to be in life. I'm on the right path. And even if my path gets blindsided, I'm prepared. Even if another loved one's path is blindsided, I'm prepared. Because I'll know that I've said and done all I could to show my love. There is a sense of calm and peace with that knowledge, and it aligns completely with my new life motto: Love More. Worry Less.