It's been a really rough few weeks for Team REV3 following all the lightheartedness and fun that was had at the summit. There have been far too many deaths and serious illnesses that my team mates have had to endure; some of them so untimely and tragic that it doesn't even seem real. I wish it wasn't real.
In one of the emails we received notifying us of one such tragedy we were reminded that, "We are all dying." When I read this for the first time, I was taken aback. The first reason I was taken aback was because I have been saying this my whole life, "As soon as you are born you begin to die." As morbid as it sounds, if you think about it, it's the truth. We only have a limited amount of time on this Earth and it begins with day one. Its like having a brand new, fully charged battery; once you start using it, it slowly begins to die. I honestly thought I was the only person who thought this way, or at least had the courage to say it out loud.
The second reason I was taken aback was because for the first time in my life it made me really sad to hear [read] those words. Not just one glistening tear, "Oh that's sad, but life goes on," type sad. But the kind of sad that makes you reflect on your life and tears at your heart for several days/weeks/months.... In the days following this email, I began thinking of my life as it was, as it is, and as it (with God's grace) will continue to be.
Admittedly, I have a wonderful life. I am surrounded by people who love me for who I am. I have a great job with co-workers that I truly enjoy working with. I have a wonderful and supportive husband and the two best pups a girl could ask for. Financially, I am not rich, nor even "well off", but I have few worries. I am able to take time off work to vacation. Physically I am healthy and am able do the things I love. I have supportive parents who instilled in me morals and values that are unrecognizable in today's world. I have traveled. I have been educated. I have lived. And I have loved. In fact the only thing that stands out that I don't "have" in my life and may never have is children of my own, but most days I'm truly okay with that.
I am sad because I think I have finally come to the realization that I love my life. But I am getting older, time is continuing to pass me by, and life as I know it is going to start changing whether I like it or not. I see my parents aging and that makes me sad. I see my aunts and uncles growing older and that makes me sad. I see my brother with a wife, a kid, and as a responsible adult and though I am very proud of him, it makes me sad that we are no longer kids ourselves. Each day I see new wrinkles and age spots in the mirror and that makes me sad. I see opportunities that I am no longer able to take advantage of because I am too old. I have dreams that I realize will never come to fruition, because simply stated, "it's just too late." I realize there are things I want to do with my life that I probably won't ever get to do just because of a limited amount of time and money, and that makes me sad. I see families being torn apart by disease and illness and that makes me sad. I see friends losing their loved ones in such an unfair and untimely fashion and it just eats at my heart. Yes, people are resilient and life will go on, but sometimes you just need it to stop for a while so that you can wrap your head around everything going on around you and hold on to what you have in the current moment.
Life is such a precious gift and it should never be taken for granted. I think society is driven to "live in the moment" making it almost acceptable to take things for granted and feel a sense of entitlement. Sadly we are reminded of life's precious gift only when tragedy occurs. This in an of itself makes me sad. So, it is my goal to take some time out of my day, on a daily basis, and reflect on my life and the good fortunes that I have been granted. It is also my goal to look at some of the challenges I have been faced with and in them, find some good, or at least accept them and make peace with them. It is my goal to brush off the insignificant and material things and focus on what really matters. I no longer want to take life for granted. I want to live every moment to its fullest and experience everything that I can possibly experience while I am on this Earth. You never know what tomorrow may bring, there are no guarantees, there are no promises, there are no take backs or do overs. Life can change in an instant, and when/if it does I want to be able to say that I have done everything I can to appreciate life up until that moment comes.
For my friends and family (and even enemies and acquaintances) who are battling hardships, illnesses, or the loss of loved ones please know that my heart is breaking for all of you. If there is anything I can do to ease the pain I would do it in a heartbeat. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you and your families!