Be happy and healthy – I’d say this is as good a New Year’s resolution as any…although I would argue the point about coffee. Life is too short to not enjoy a good cuppa’ Joe.
But this is a sentiment I have embraced only in recent years; a tribute to the memory of my USCG colleague and dearest friend, Debbie. In my mind’s eye, I can still see her push away an unappetizing plate of food and say, “Life is too short to suffer eating bad food.”
It happened often enough that I had thought she was being a bit spoiled – not in a bad way though, only that she was many years my senior and her life experiences were drastically different from mine. She died May 16, 2009, as a result of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). She was only 57 years old.
Debbie’s death occurred one year after the death of both my parents, and 6 months after my husband’s near-fatal motorcycle accident. My perspective on life shattered.
Since then, I no longer devote time to coulda’ – woulda’ – shoulda’ sentiments. It takes some effort, but I strive to focus only on things that are within my current sphere of influence. I am reminded again of Debbie, who endured the last months of her short life as a prisoner within her own malfunctioning body. I remember her tears of frustration, as muscles seized, making the simplest of daily tasks impossible. I watched my fiercely independent friend take a deep breath and say, “It is what it is.”
I have come to realize that life is too short to waste time on toxic people, or misguided souls who are snared within a web of self-inflicted narcissism – for neither give regard to someone else’s happiness or well-being.
Life is learning.
I have no idea what this new year will bring, but I am filled with renewed purpose and hope. Every day is a gift, not to be squandered.
Cheers! Here’s to a happy and healthy (and prosperous) new year.