Posted by: lslewlkr | February 16, 2011

Acknowledging Existence

There are times in life when our mortality is all too apparent.  Waking up in the morning and receiving a phone call that someone who seemed nearly invincible is gone is tough.  In the last month, at least three people close to me or close to friends have lost someone near and dear to them unexpectedly.  And only a year ago, Grace McNeil, 24 years-old, died having the best day ever.  Life happens, but it sometimes feels surreal in our mountain Never, Never Land.

It feels like the bottom has dropped out from underneath you.  A floating, almost weightless sense as daily activities are attended to.  Sometimes it’s hard to just breathe.  Inappropriate and unexpected tears hit.

But then, slowly, the ground becomes a bit more stable.  Your stomach is once again part of your body.  Breathing becomes easier.

Life does go on.

For me, introspection upon the unexpected loss of people in their prime is vital.  I have an obligation to those people who have passed – to be the best I can be, and live my life with no regrets.  It’s about all things – the little and the big.

To steal from one of those recently deceased, “It’s the best day ever!”  Because it is.  I’m alive.  I’m healthy.  I have great friends and loved ones.  I live a life that satisfies my soul.

Before it sounds like it’s all cotton candy and lollipops, I am human.  The attitude that I wake up with isn’t always the best.  Sometimes I’m catty and less than complimentary towards others.  But I don’t feel better when I’m like that.  Being unkind, even silently in my head, doesn’t make me feel like a better person.

So I strive to live a life with few regrets.  I try to smile even when I’m down.  I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.  And I think about consciously being kinder, because it takes even more effort to be a bitch.  I want to surround myself with people who are kind and caring.  Pettiness is worthless.  Relationships that have depth, meaning, and shared interests will last.

I set forth a challenge to live life with abandon.  Enjoy life.  Appreciate each day that is given.  Because today is “the best day of your life!”

RIP mountain friends:  Chris Stokes, Grace McNeil, Dale Scott, Leif Borgeson, Chris McNeil

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