Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's the Little Things In Life...But Also the Big Ones

I've been on the road for work a lot recently, so have not had time to post much over the past few weeks.

Unfortunately, one thing that occurred a couple weeks ago was the death of a colleague. This was a much beloved woman at the company I work for and many people were saddened by the loss - particularly given how young she was when she died.

Over the course of the funeral, reception and other informal gatherings and conversations that followed, many colleagues expressed how something like this points out how "the little things" in life matter much more than we all think. Most of us get caught up in work or personal dramas that - in the big picture of life - really don't or should not matter much when compared to the simple, easy to enjoy parts of everyday life.

Which of course is certainly true. I mean hey, think about the simple joy of just sitting in your back yard or on your balcony on a warm spring morning and looking at your flower beds. Or, how about taking a nice walk in your neighborhood or cooking a tasty meal. Or, the basic and enjoyable distraction of a good book or movie. Or, the sense of achievement felt by completing a small project around your home. The list could go on and on. These little everyday activities are, in the aggregate, a lot of the good stuff in life.

But then, in the course of these conversations about the little things following the funeral of the departed colleague it occurred to me that while little things matter...so too do the BIG things in life. I'm not talking about buying a home or getting a promotion, but more about things like the birth of a child, graduating from school, getting married (or committing to that special someone), divorce...and indeed death.

These are big, monumental happenings in life that deserve to be felt, respected and recognized. They should not be glossed over, ignored or set aside in favor of a lot of little moments. Parties need to be thrown, speeches need to be made, pictures taken, food eaten, booze drank, tears cried, friendships created (or dissolved) around such big life events.

And then finally, it occurred to me once again that both the indulgence and importance of the big milestones in life, together with the appreciation for the little everyday things in life unify to delivery an enduring and all-to-often repeated message....

...life is short, live well now, love the people in your life now, embrace the things you always have wanted to do.

After all, you never know when your time will be up. You think you do. You think you'll live to be 87 years old and die peacefully in your sleep.  But you don't know. Too often in my own 42 years on the planet, people I've know or been related to have died unexpectedly and way before their time. That's all too real.

So live it up people. Be responsible, treat others well and don't hurt yourself...but live it up while you can.

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