When a new year dawns, people often reminisce about all they have experienced during the past year. Others consider whether or not to make the usual and customary New Year’s resolutions. You know the ones – exercise more, eat healthier, organize better and spend less.
Contemplating another year makes me thoughtful. The past year has been a hectic one. In addition to the day-in and day-out routines of life, there have been exciting and scary moments, a few once in a lifetime opportunities and amazing celebrations. One thing stands out though – the unexpected goodbyes I have said to a number of people.
Most of us probably live life at a pretty fast pace. This year I have come face to face with how easy it is to take tomorrow for granted when it comes to relationships. For example, I recently saw a friend in the grocery store. We’ve mentioned getting together for coffee for months. We laughed about it, but in my heart I asked, “How can I be so busy that I can’t find time for coffee with my friend whom I love?”
My husband and I frequently talk at dinner about inviting friends over, but I know that if I don’t grab my calendar and look at dates, we’ll be having the same conversation about the same group of friends six months from now.
Here’s what I think bothers me the most about this: Not only is my life’s work all about healthy relationships, but I have also been blessed with many special people in my life. No question about it, I thrive on relationship. As I have come face to face with losing people who are close to me, it has hit me like a ton of bricks that life really is short and there is no promise of tomorrow.
New Year’s resolutions aren’t necessarily my thing, but on the eve of a new year, I am absolutely resolved to spend more time with the ones I love.
I remember reading “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying – A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing,” written by Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse who interviewed hundreds of her patients. It was interesting to me that all of the regrets really had to do with living life to the fullest with the people in your life. Every male patient (and many women, too) Ware cared for said they wished they hadn’t worked so hard but had spent more time with their loved ones instead.
Another regret was not realizing the full blessing of friends until they were facing death. Many said they had gotten so caught up in life that their friendships had been sidelined. Yet in the end when they were getting their affairs in order, the money or status weren’t what was most important to them – but the relationships were.
I don’t want to look back with regret when it comes to the relationships in my life. I am definitely taking some intentional steps about creating space for the relationships that speak life to me.
I hope the new year 2018 brings you many blessings, including those of love and relationship.
Happy New Year!