Be Happy & Healthy


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.



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