Choiceful Living

5 Nov

As many of you that read this blog already know, a very close friend of mine was killed in an accident three weeks ago. It seems impossible for me to pick up blogging without acknowledging this.  So that task of figuring out what to say.

I’m sure my observation are not shocking or even particularly insightful, but as I’ve ventured through the past three weeks with friends and the family I’ve noticed a few things. As you might imagine, everyone is devastated for his wife, son and parents. People truly want to help, to be of service and somehow make it better.  I also noticed that many people, even those that didn’t know him, experienced a reality check about their own mortality – a momentary awakening of how fragile and uncertain life can be.

As I’ve thought about my own reactions, and those of others, I have once again circled around to the notion that “we have choice.”

The question is often asked “if you only had X amount of time to live, what would you do?”  This got me thinking.  How is today or tomorrow any more-or-less precious if you have 1 week, 6 months or 50 years left to live?

It’s strikes me as odd, maybe sad or even ridiculous, that we’d be okay making bad choices for today if we had 30 more years to live, but if we only had 30 more days to live, then being stupid today would be a tragedy.  How do 30 years -109,500 days- of bad choices add up?  Or is it the assumption that we don’t have patterns of how we do life – “surely next week I’ll make better choices!”  Do we notice when another year of bad days have accumulated?

When I say bad choices I mean things like…spinning in our tiny little world of mostly self-made problems, harshly judging ourselves or others, stewing about things we can not control, not controlling the things we can, answering our cell phone when we’re talking to someone or missing the opportunity to connect with someone because we have projects, papers or emails piled in front of us?

Seriously, I’m not trying to point a finger at anyone – but the idea that “you have choice” is about choosing every day, every moment.  What do your thoughts and actions say about you today?

Everyday we have the choice to declare a ‘reality check’ about what matters, we have the opportunity to help others, to be of service, to try and make it better.  We have the choice to live in gratitude, appreciation and relationship or busyness, chaos and self-absorption.

A choice to consider… start a gratitude/appreciation habit today – continue it for the next 109,500 days.  Let me know how it goes!

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