Oh The Places We Will Go!

There are certain numbers in your life that are milestones. There are several of them in a lifetime. Today, my youngest son turned eighteen. Suddenly, magically, he is now an adult. I know there is more to being an adult then a number. The number is just a starting place.

He can vote, defend his country, and be held legally responsible for his actions. Yesterday he still was my little boy (I know he would not like that little boy reference but he was). Just yesterday he was playing with toy trucks and having sleepovers.

I was looking at him as he ate his breakfast this morning, searching for a sign that he was an adult. Not one thing looked different. Not one single thing. Shouldn’t I see something different in him?

Where did the time go? Now, I know that some parents get sad that the years have passed and yearn for the younger days again.  I am not one of them. I have enjoyed each season in my children’s life and eagerly look forward to the next.

For me it’s like a second chance to view the world again through young eyes. Eyes, that are not jaded by the passing of the years. Eyes, that only see endless possibilities. Eyes, that see that anything is possible. Do you remember when you felt that way? I do. And now I get to do it again. I get to do things I never thought possible, things that perhaps, I was too scared to do.

As Dr. Seuss once said, “Oh the places you’ll go.” I can jump from a plane and never leave the ground. I can be an actor, politician, a college student or a long distance runner. I can take great pride in each of these things and never do them myself, for these are things my children aspire to.

Yes, today my son hit a milestone; he turned eighteen and soon will be off on the great adventure called life. I am excited for him. Surely, I will miss him so, but “Oh the places we will go!”

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Time

Time does many things. We know it flies and it marches on. I think the only thing times doesn’t do is stand still.  Time is relentless. It doesn’t care who you are, how much money you make or what you want. It passes just the same for all of us.

It is interesting to me that even though time never changes, our perception of it does. Depending on our mood or an event, it appears that it will either slow to a snails pace or hasten to our deadline. Who hasn’t counted the hours till a long awaited vacation? Or bemoaned the fact that we don’t have enough time to finish our project?

The only way you can “make” more time is to stop using it on something else. And someday that will come far too soon; you will run out of time.

So we need to make the most of our time.  Dario Fo – a Nobel laureate, said, “Know how to live the time that is given to you.”  I think we often forget how to live and just end up existing. We fall in to the trap of just getting the through the days and weeks hoping things will get better and once we reach a certain destination, things will fall into place, then we will start to live.

Many people complain that there is never enough time. Perhaps it is not the amount of time we have, but how we use it. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hour per day that were given to Abraham Lincoln, Michelango, Mother Teresa and Steven Jobs. Now of course we can’t all be Steven Jobs, but you get my point I hope. I do agree that it seems like we never have enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important things if we choose.

Don’t waste your time. Start living today.  We all have things we don’t like to do through the day, sure.  But for the few moments or hours we get to choose how we spend – make them count. One of the best things we can say to someone we care about is to say “My time is your time.”. That is such a sweet offering. Because what do you have that has more worth than your time?

This time like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Just Be

 

Many people have asked me what the right words are to comfort someone when a tragedy hits. I always find this an interesting question because we all know that there are never any right words to fix something that has gone so wrong.

People’s grief and heartache are hard to watch.  Even a stranger’s grief can affect us and move us to tears. It makes us uncomfortable, and it makes us feel helpless.

In our helplessness we feel we need to fill the void with words. Many times our words are useless.

So what can you do to help when you are faced with another’s tragedy?  “Just be.” Don’t worry about words and thoughts that you have, “just be.”

“Just be” there to hold a hand and give a hug.  “Just be” the shoulder to cry on and the hands that help hold them up.  “Just be” in the room so they are not alone. You don’t have to have any words much less the right ones. Your presence will lend more comfort then any words can offer.

Many times we feel the need to take action and to do something tangible. When, in fact it is sometimes the intangible that can bring the most comfort. How can we measure the power when you “just be?”

I wish that during my journey with sorrow, someone would have had the thought to “just be” with me.  Instead people would come, say a few words, and then leave as if I had something contagious.  If I could have only articulated that I just wanted them to be with me.  They didn’t have to speak a word. I just wanted to draw solace from their presence.

When you “just be” you are saying that you know that hurt, grief and sorrow are a solitary journey but you are close by if needed.

If you are ever left wondering what you can do for a friend in need, I hope you remember my words and try to “just be.” It “just might be” the best thing you could do.

New Beginnings

The words new beginning, are words that seem to hold so much hope.  As the New Year is now upon us, I reflect on the many new beginnings I have had over the years.

Some beginnings you have no choice about. Certainly, I have had new beginnings that I wanted no part of, ones that I tried my fastest to out run.  But you can’t hide or run from them, they march on relentlessly and totally disregard what you want, what you need.  And for a while leave you in misery.  But after times passes you can always find hope in the new beginning. New beginnings are a gift.

I have seen many people who don’t choose to use the gift of the new beginning because of fear.  I’m sure you know someone like that.  Someone who is so fearful that being in a bad situation is better than the unknown of a new beginning.  I see this all the time from the small town I come from, friends who are unhappy with where they live, their job or marriage, and refuse the chance at a new beginning.

In fairness, I must say that with most new beginnings there is a period of adjustment and maybe living out of your comfort zone.  Perhaps this is why some people don’t give new beginnings a chance.  For me, the end results far outweigh any discomfort at the start.

If we chose a new beginning It can give us hope, it can allow us to start over, the words that if we let them, can change our life for the better.

I am blessed with a new beginning every morning when I wake.  I get another day to make right, the things I got wrong yesterday.  I can repair a friendship, redo a project or make a change in my life for the better.  Such a gift, I can hardly believe it!

And with every new beginning there is an ending as well.  Sometimes that is a good thing, like the end to a job we dislike or it can, for a while be painful, as in the loss of someone we love.  But even in the darkest times a new beginning shines like a light at the end of a long tunnel, beckoning us forward to a new start.

My New Year’s wish is that you take a chance on a new beginning, that you make a change that you have been meaning to make.  Because as you know, “today is the first day of the rest of your life.”