Tomorrow I’ll be 51 years old. By all rights I should’ve not made it this far. And while I continue to recover from my strokes and other ailments, I thought I’d take today to reflect on a few things and some decisions I need to make for 2016.
To be honest, I haven’t just sat back and “reflected” on my life for a long while now. I’m a little rusty, so bare with me.
I realize that I’ve been holding a lot of anger in check for a couple of years. When people lie to you that tends to happen. But (upon reflection) what I realize is this. Anger, is incredibly unhealthy. I know—shocking. People will make choices in their life. I cannot make choices for them. If they choose to behave poorly, that’s THEIR choice. Life is too short to continually play the victim for something I have no control over.
But what I CAN do is forgive and move on. That’s my choice. The anger was beginning to spiral out of control and taking me toward a very dark place.
I CHOOSE to not be angry. I CHOOSE to forgive.
So the first of four key attitude shifts for 2016 is Forgiveness.
The second word for 2016 is perhaps the hardest for me. That’s Patience. I’m a product of the “me” generation—instant gratification. Whether it’s a new gadget I just MUST have, or being stuck in traffic, leaning on the horn and yelling at no one in particular, I must learn to be patient. Stopping to smell the roses occasionally is not a bad thing. Neither is taking an afternoon walk to stroll along a beach or to watch a child’s swim meet. Or to help an elderly person with their groceries (instead of getting annoyed because they move too slow).
Number two is Patience.
The third word for 2016 is Kindness. I used to be kind…well, a lot kinder then I am today. It’s time to reverse that trend. Oh, don’t worry. I’m not about to lose my sarcastic streak or my cynicism. But kindness is a way of life and I need to embrace that more than I have as of late. A lot of things have happened to make me bitter and resentful over the past few years. I just need to get over myself and rejoin to world at large. I’m not talking about moving to Africa to help build schools there. That would be impractical at best. But I need to pay more attention to my surroundings—help where it’s needed. It’s amazing what a kind word or two will do.
Now to the fourth and last of my words for 2016. Appreciate. To often I’m “too busy” to really appreciate the people (family, friends, co-workers etc.) around me. I need to be more vocal about that. Appreciation and encouragement—be the person I always meant to be.
So let me start this one right now.
For all of you who took the time to write to me when I was ill, for all the flowers candies and cards that arrived. For the phone calls and the hospital visits. And most of all to my wife who stood watch over me during the darkest (and nearly last) hours of my life—
Thank you. You have no idea how you all helped me to get back on my feet again. I’m truly blessed by having you in my life.
And I appreciate all that you have done for me.
In 2016, I’ll prove that.
Yes, I almost died. Almost. Tomorrow, I celebrate 51 years of life. It’s time to start living again.
Happy New Year.