As I sauntered across the brisk, brightened lawn I was mesmerized by the light show that had been so meticulously designed for me and countless other observers. The enormous tree was strewn with lights that looked like falling rain, so replete with luminescence that the house behind became hidden. I admit, I wanted to pretend I was eight and run underneath the branches, swinging my hands between the dangling bulbs, pretending that I was in some type of fantasy land.
Like others, we took our share of various pictures, boys with mom, boys with dad, and we forbade the children from running under so as not to disturb the perfection of the moment for other visitors to follow; but, my most memorable picture came as I walked the farthest away preparing for my departure. When I turned around and saw the darkened shadows against the incessant brilliance of the lights, I was compelled to take out my trusty camera. It occurred to me that the picture would capture my first epiphany for the new year.
So often, our lives can be quickly overwhelmed with issues or obstacles that we didn’t anticipate. Like massive trees with heavily laden branches they can seem to be fixtures in our lives – difficult relationships, troubled finances, confusing situations, lingering ailments, or sometimes just perplexing decisions. However, when I reflect on my own challenges from the outgoing year, I can’t help noting that some of my most agonizing dilemmas gave way to many of the brightest moments of my life.
Difficult relationships led to new bonds with old friends. Financial conundrums paved roads for fortified decisions that I would not have considered had I not had the then unwelcome hiccups. Confusing situations mandated that I take a necessary step back – to focus, question, and clarify. I was unwillingly initially of course; but, when I did, my future seemed incessantly lit with possibilities. I later became thankful for all of the insight that came with those heavy boughs of burdens.
If you’re anything like me (or perhaps know someone who is), you join the millions of people who make promises to themselves to be, do, and live better at the onset of the new year. I love New Year’s Resolutions, but as I’ve become more “vintage” (because I’m clearly not getting old [smile]), I find myself beginning those resolutions towards the end of the outgoing year. I consider what was successful and what went awry, but I endeavor not only to learn from my life, but the lives of others.
I have a renewed interest in health – not just physically, but spiritually, mentally and emotionally, financially, and professionally. Often, I think we target a single area assuming that we can’t address multiple areas of our life. I contend that we can. Noting the many lives lost of those I’ve known and those I didn’t, I’m constantly reminded our lives are short and our moments are precious.
What is my sage advice for everyone? Live well, with every fiber of your being! Take care of yourself from the inside out! Leverage the knowledge you gain, whether with family, friends, or formidable foes because everything that happens in life is purposeful. Finally, learn from your lessons. They extend far beyond the realm of academia. If you think about them conscientiously, you’ll realize their benefits with greater ease.
You owe it to yourself and those you love to maximize the opportunities you’re so often presented. Pay attention to the gems that are awaiting your arrival. I have my eye on quite a few treasures, and most of them can’t be held in your hand.
#preparingtocontinuepursuitofmypassion, #catchyourdreams, #betheone, #happynewyear, #staytuned, #whatswaitingforyou
Caption: The lights that lit my fire again.