Saturday, December 29, 2007
The perfect evening
It's been almost two years since my dad passed away, and since then I realize the importance of family. It used to be a perfect evening would be to go out with my friends dancing and partying, but now the perfect evening is to be spent with family. Our day started with Little Jack coming over at 7:15 in the morning and we just hung out in bed and talked and smiled and laughed until around 11:00. Then Jack told me it was time to get up so we did and we had a photo shoot appointment at Kiddie Kandids, (he did perfect, with huge smiles in all the pictures). Afterwards Jay took Stevi, Jayson and me to The Nugget Rotisserie with a gift card he got for Christmas (can't beat a free meal with your family) I ate so much I think I probably consumed around 3000 calories (not kidding), and then Jay and Jayson brought $20 ea. to the blackjack tables and Stevi and I went up to the arcade to play. We were there longer than the boys, between the two of us we won 201 tickets and Stevi cashed it in for candy and junk. Oh well, we all left with a smile on our face and enjoyed the evening. The last time we went to the Rotisserie to eat was with my dad, I thought of the many times we went there with him and it made me smile instead of feel sad. Thanks dad for giving us the gift of realizing what is important in life and what really matters on a Saturday night. The following is from Chapter 100 in "DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF WITH YOUR FAMILY" Please read it and embrace its meaning........
TREAT YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS AS IF THIS WERE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE GOING TO SEE THEM
I suggest that you treat your family members (and those you love most) as if this were the last time you were going to see them.
How often do we run out the door without saying good-bye- or say something less than kind or something critical under our breath as a parting shot as we go our separate ways? How often do we take for granted those we love and count on most, assuming we will always be together? Most of us seem to operate under the assumption that we can always be kind later, that there's always tomorrow. But is that a wise way to live?
A few years ago, my grandmother Emily passed away. I remember visiting her, knowing that each visit might very well be the last time I ever saw her. Each visit counted and was treated as special. Each good-bye was filled with genuine love, appreciation, and reflection. Looking back, it was a particularly loving time because each moment was precious.
Our daily lives can be this precious. A powerful exercise to practice on a regular basis is to imagine that this is your final good-bye. Imagine that, for one reason or another, you won't see your family member ever again after this meeting. If this were true (and it's always a possibility), would you think and act in the same way? Would you remind your parent, child, sibling, spouse, or other loved one of yet another shortcoming, flaw, or imperfection in his or hr behavior or personality? Would your last words be complaints or pessimistic comments that suggest that you wish your life were different than it is?
Perhaps, if you thought there was always the possibility that this were the last time you were going to see someone you love, you'd take an extra minute to give a loving hug and say good-bye. Or maybe you'd say something kind and gentle, an affirmation of your love, instead of your business-as-usual "See you Later." If you thought this were the last time you were going to see your teenager, sister, parent, in-law, or spouse, you might treat that person differently, with more kindness, and more compassionately. Rather than rushing away, you'd probably smile and tell the person how much you care. Your heart would be open.
I make this suggestion not to create a fearful environment but to encourage you to remember how precious your family is and how much you'd miss them if they (or you) weren't around to share your life with. The implementation of this strategy into my life has added additional perspective to what's most important. I believe it can help you to become more patient and loving-and perhaps most of all, to remember to not sweat the small stuff with your family.