Friday, November 10, 2006

Live Like You Were Dyin'

Now, it’s our birthday this month, so I don’t want to bring anyone down, but I do want to touch a bit on something that happened to me this week. A close friend of the family committed suicide Tuesday. One day he’s there, the next, he’s gone. I’m not really wanting to belabor the tragic impact of suicide on the family, etc., but something like that really makes you think about your own life.

For one, it makes you think your life is pretty good. Things may go wrong, money or health troubles might surface, but overall, things are okay. Good days and bad days are just a part of life. I find it slightly ironic that he did this in the season leading up to Thanksgiving. For one brief, dark, moment, he could think of nothing in his life that was valuable enough to stay alive for. I think this year, I will take special care listing out all the things in my life that I’m thankful for. Being able to see the good things makes you not only appreciate them more, but it makes it easier to get through the tougher things.

Two, it makes me glad to be alive and working towards my dream. Every day that I can wake up and work on my story is a good one. I caught myself deep in thought about my book as I sat alone at a Vietnamese restaurant the other night. Normally I would be self conscious about sitting alone or whatever, but I could’ve been anywhere as deep in thought as I was. I plot-plot-plotted all the way through my vermicelli shrimp and was quite pleased with what I came up with. Although I’m not the most optimistic person, you’ve got to have some level of hope to even attempt your dream. I might never get published. But I certainly won’t if I don’t try. And I enjoy writing, writing people, writing no matter what, I’m pursuing my dream. That's more than some people ever do.

Finally, it brings together the last two topics in that life is short. Sure, the afternoons at work seem to drag on for eternity, but when you look back at the years that have flown by, it’s amazing how quickly it slips away. Too many people spend their time thinking they’ll do something...someday. When I have more money, time, energy, interest, whatever. They wake up one day and realize they wasted their chance. Although this family friend made the conscious decision to end his journey, not everyone gets the choice. Accidents and illnesses pop up every day. Not everyone lives to 98. We should all go and do and live the lives we want to live. Although country music tends to make me cry and I avoid it, the Tim McGraw song really sums it up..."live like you were dying."

I don't want anyone on the playground to waste a single minute, so go out there and make someday, today! Be grateful for what you have and start working towards what you want right now.

Okay, I’m not sure if the inspirational ending outweighed the depressing beginning, but this question should certainly get some positive juices flowing....

If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow and do anything (money and physical limitations aside) what would you do and who would you want to share it with? (Let's leave the obvious choice of strawberry Jell-o wrestling with Johnny Depp out of the equasion for this one.) One commenter will get a book of their choice.

Congratulations also go out to yesterday's winner MelJPrincess! Email Instigator with your snail mail address so she can send you your prize!

Word Count Update - 15000/90000 = 16.6% completed (1/6th done)


Maureen said...

So sorry about your family's friend. I have to say that if money were no object I would love to travel around the world, maybe writing for a travel magazine or producing a weekly show like on the travel channel but I would want my husband and children with me.

CrystalG said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend. (((HUGS)))
If I could do anything, I would travel to all the places I have wanted to see and I would want to share this experience with my husband and family.

Angel said...

Big dream: Travel (seems to be a running theme today!). Like everyone said, I'd love to experience other places in a leisurely, thorough way with my family.

Small dream: A slow, enjoyable day with family and friends. So many times my day is filled with this project, those chores, phone calls, blah, blah, blah... My favorite kind of day is spent puttering around the house with no urgent intent, reading, playing cards with DQ, good meals that somebody else cooked and cleaned up, and a nap.

I don't know about all that, but I do have family coming into town today, and I've blocked off this weekend to spend with them. I'm really looking forward to it.


Instigator said...

SP, I'm really sorry you're having to deal with this. It's a very difficult situation.

I'd love to wake up on an African Safari with DH and the girls. We've always wanted to travel to Africa, we're both big animal people (we raised baby cougars for a local zoo...but that's another story for anther time).


Kathy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your friend's death, SP. Blessings.

Your question is a loaded one. While I could say that I'd love to travel, meet fascinating people, do marvelous things that up to now have only been part of a dream, desire to more spend time with departed loved ones, my only honest response could possibly be to have all my children back home, under one roof so that we can enjoy each other's company. That would be the greatest day of all.

Everything in life will come and go but family is everlasting.


Jennifer Y. said...

Sorry about your friend.

I would travel the world...I would take my mother and father. They have always been there for me and supported me. They have had some rough times lately and I would love to see them enjoy themselves.

Meljprincess said...

How heartbreaking. I'm so sorry about your friend. I've felt like committing suicide myself in the past but I won't because of my cat. I want to wake up every day and know he's OK and alive as well. And each day I'm grateful for it. I just want to spend as much time with him as I can. It will be bad when he goes. They'll have to put me away as the thought of suicide still remains.

Smarty Pants said...

If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow and do anything, I'd like to wake up in Rome with DB as we kicked off our two month tour of Europe. I'd love to cover all the sites and get so many passport stamps, I'd need to get a new one.

If not, then start boiling water for the strawberry jello...


Playground Monitor said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Suicide leaves so many people in its wake wondering why and if they could have prevented it.

I'd love to wake up in Frankfurt, Germany with the DH so we could re-visit the town where we lived for four years back in the 70's. And because Frankfurt is centrally located in Europe, we could travel back to some of our favorite places and visit them again too -- Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna, Berlin (without the wall), the Amalfi coast of Italy, the little village in Austria where we skiied every winter (though my skiing days are over), that favorite restaurant in Heidelburg that served my favorite dish in all of Europe (hasslenuss steak -- veal coated in finely ground hazel nuts and panfried and served with Holandaise sauce), Nuremberg and the Christmas market. Oh there are just too many places to name. But it's a nice dream.

ellie said...

I would love the opportunity to travel since I have never had that chance. My DH and I would travel leisurely and enjoy this time of our lives which would be an experience of a lifetime. Too many years of work and sacrifice should be rewarded with this pleasure. It would be memorable and important.

alissa said...

The most wonderful and inspiring experience would be to travel with my husband, especially all over Italy for as long as we would want. We have rarely travelled and mainly for business so this was not relaxing. After many years of being together I would love this chance to spend quality time enjoying a special place together.

Problem Child said...

I think there's a deluge of Wanderlust on the Playground...

Funny how we all want to travel. I think that encapsulates the desire to do-see-learn-know.

I want to travel, but I want to be able to stay in those places for more than a week or two. I want to stay and experience the day-to-day life in a different culture.

Course I'd also like to wake up on the NYT list.

And I'll take Sting--sans jello

Smarty Pants said...

But, PC, there's always room for jello. :)


Carol said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your friend! It's so hard on family and friends!

I'm not interested in traveling. As long as I get to spend time with my family, that's all that matters. My daughter moved back to town with her family and my son lives nearby so that worked out good for me.

Congrats, Melissa, on your win!

KimW said...

hmmm...I would like to wake up tomorrow in my house with my husband. It would be nice to not have to work and be able to travel more but overall I'm happy with my life. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

pearl said...

I would rent a villa for an entire summer or longer and invite my whole family to spend time there. This would be an invaluable experience for all of us to be together and spend an unforgettable length of time which is rare. The setting would be conducive to total relaxation and day trips which would benefit all of us in may ways.

catslady said...

Congrats on your win, Mel.

I'm in the travel group - a cruise around the world would be nice. I'd build a house with a room just for my books and maybe buy a bookstore too :)

Debby said...

Wow, life is indeed fragile. If I could do what i wanted, I would love to visit Australia and New Zealand. I would take my family. I know my daughter would love a cruise.