I have learned some valuable lessons over the past few weeks.
Life can end at any moment. A beloved teacher aide at my school named Rose died of cancer a few weeks ago. She was only 56 and had so much more to give. She was one of those people that no one disliked – not even a little. She lived her life in such a way as to make every day count for good.
A neighbor was found dead by my ex-husband and me when his house alarm went off. We still aren’t sure why it went off, but he had not just died. He was a loner who kept to himself and was not close to anyone, even his family.
Tuesday, I took a personal day from work. I spent it with out of town family doing things I never take the time to do. We hiked at our beautiful local preserve. We wandered through our local historical village and I sat in a rocking chair on the porch of an old “cracker” house talking with my daughter and cousin while we took turns rocking and bouncing my grandson. What a lovely way to spend the day. I was more content in that moment than I had been for a long time.
I do not know if I’ll live to be a hundred or die tomorrow. Right now I am facing major pay cuts at my school. My beloved dog Ava died last week, so I am once again alone. And the paperwork and housework pile up. But what a waste to spend that time being angry, or worried, or lonely. I want more days filled with laughter and serenity and outright joy. I am the only one who can make them so.