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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Groundhog Day.

As my alarm went off at the butt-crack of dawn this morning (more like 6:30'ish give or take a few minutes after hitting the snooze button about 10 times), I realized that my life is starting to feel like the poor slob's life on Groundhog Day. My first thought was - wait, didn't I JUST fall asleep? Wasn't I just waking up yesterday, January 9?

While I was in the shower, I was thinking about '06 and how quickly it flew by. With the exception of a few brief moments, I had a hard time remembering any of the events that transpired throughout the year. This memory lapse isn't from my pre-mature Alzheimer's, no, it's because time is passing by too quickly, and I'm not taking the time to slow down and appreciate each day for what it's worth.

A close friend of my mom's recently passed away from a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She went through periods of remission and periods of non-remission. At the end, the cancer had spread throughout her entire body. I met her years ago when Joe and I were insuring my engagement ring (she worked for State Farm). She was the picture of health and beauty.

My great uncle passed away yesterday. He went into the hospital complaining of some back problems on Monday. The doctors ran some tests that day and discovered he had a malignant grown on his liver. They also discovered he had some clotting and made arrangements to perform surgery early yesterday morning to prevent the clots from circulating throughout his body. About an hour prior to his surgery, he passed away. It was that quick.

I didn't go to the hospital to see him because I thought I had more time. I had some things I had to finish at work. In the grand scheme of things, were my menial tasks at work that important? Why didn't I spend more time with my Uncle Bob at my sister's wedding? Had I known it would've been the last time I'd see him alive, I would've attached myself to him the entire night.

I wish I could press an easy button and slow down time. I'll be 29 years old in a few months. My sister is a married woman now. My parents are approaching their mid-50s. My cat Sam will be 13 in July.

I remember when 29 seemed so old. I remember holding my sister when she was a baby. I remember when my parents were close to my age. I remember buying Sam from the Pet shop at Lakeside Mall. All of this seems like it was yesterday. How did all of this time pass without me realizing how quickly life flows? Why didn't I take the time to appreciate Sam when she was a kitten or play with my sister more when she was a child?

I'm not sure why I'm so pensive right now. I hate being like this, actually. Maybe it's the time of year. I'm usually always kind of bummed around this time of year. Perhaps it's because this year has already started off in such a crappy fashion.

My post is very random. I just re-read it and really can't make sense out of it, so I'm sorry if you're confused. I guess my point is that life has become so routine. We wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, workout - not necessarily in that order. We don't try to make our days significant. It's sad that I can only remember a handful of significant days in '06. I'll bet my mom's friend lived each day to the fullest after finding out about her cancer. Each day of life was a special gift, and she cherished it and made it the best day she possibly could.

I'm not talking about taking trips to Fugi or climbing Mount Everest to make your life meaningful (we all know how dumb I think that idea is). I'm talking about going to PetSmart on your lunch break to play with the kittens for adoption or bringing your spouse/significant other a surprise lunch at work or walking along the lakefront/beach and smelling the water - these things are significant. These are the memories that fill our days and carry us through the years. Taking the time to appreciate the little things, not dwell on the big things, and to look forward to all things - this is what I need to focus on this year. I need to change my outlook.

We all need to look at life through the eyes of someone who just found out they have a terminal illness. Make the best of the time we have on this Earth and focus on ways we can improve our life and the lives of those we love and care about. Bake some cookies for the elderly neighbor who has no family. Take a care package to the lady down the street who is caring for her dying husband. Sometimes we need to take the focus off ourselves for a while.


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