Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Counting my blessings

I find it shocking sometimes how selfish I am.  Don't get me wrong, I worry about others, especially my family and friends, and I have concern for my fellow man.  But all too often I find myself consumed by my own concerns, i.e. I'm not losing weight, I can't run outside because it's cold, etc.  Writing a blog about "me" does not help the situation any.  However, on three different occasions this week I have been smacked in the face with events that make me realize just how trivial my concerns can be.

1.  Last Friday, a distant cousin passed away very suddenly.  The cause of her death is still to be determined, but that matters very little.  Hillary was family, she had a husband and young children, and she was only 28 years old.  She had a whole life in front of her.  I am sad that I did not know her better.  I am terribly sad for her parents, husband, and children. 

2. One of the blogs that I regularly follow had not posted in some time.  I wondered to myself "Where has Dave been?"  Then yesterday I got my answer, he had died.  By the miracle of medical science, he was saved, but for a short time the man had actually "shuffled off this mortal coil".  It would seem that this incredible endurance athlete had been ignoring some of the signs and doctor's advice for him to take things a little easier until finally he had a reaction to some of his medication and actually flat lined for a few moments.  In reading the post it would seem that Dave has used this occasion to re-evaluate some of his life's goals and priorities, and it still serves as a wake up call to many of us.

3. This morning I received a phone call from a co-worker.  Anita has been battling cancer for almost a year and a half, and was thought to be on the mend.  But recent illness and tests have proven otherwise.  Her cancer has spread and she has a long and arduous fight ahead of her.  She is a fiercely independent and strong woman; I am sure she will fight this new occurrence with zeal.  But, I am still sad to see her have to go through it all.

To see, read, and hear about these events makes me re-evaluate my own concerns and priorities.  My concerns and complaints are nothing in comparison to what these and so many other people have to deal with on a daily basis.  I also use these reminders to re-evaluate my own priorities in life.  I am glad that I chose to live a healthier lifestyle.  But no matter how healthy I think I am, life is uncertain and each day should be treated as a gift.  One of the greatest gifts I have ever received was the opportunity to meet and marry my wife.  We got engaged 8 years ago today, and I could not have been more blessed (I love you, Katie!).  I am very lucky to have two healthy children, and I hope that I get to live a long life watching them grow up and start families of their own.

I realize that I am lucky for the things that I have, and I will not worry so much about the things I do not.  I will continue to count my blessings.

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