Thursday, January 1, 2015
I have heard that now from several friends and family members, be it through social media, a text or a phone call. And I say it back. I truly hope for happiness for all. I am looking forward to a new year and do feel happy and hopeful. It is nice to be free to feel that way, a blessing really.
But last night, on New Year's Eve, my work phone rang. Now, I had taken vacation time and we had a wonderful holiday in Italy the past 10 days. My cellphone voicemail said that I would return after the New Year and so I thought about just letting it go. But our furnace had a problem and I thought it might be the repairman as they had my work phone on file. So I answered.
It was not the furnace repairman.
It was a discharge planner from a hospital I know well. She needed help. A patient needed discharged to home and she did not know who to call after hours on a holiday night.
The patient, she described, was a young mother with three children and a husband, who had an evil brain cancer that had worsened and she just wanted to go home to die. As the discharge planner described the case to me in more detail, my heart sank. It hit close to home as she had a daughter the same age as my own.
And so it goes. Life ends. It does. Not the happy reflection I had hoped to have on this New Year's Eve. But an important one none-the-less.
It makes mindless resolutions seem silly.
So here are some resolutions that I am going to follow this year and that I have tried to follow always, but sometimes fall short. The beginning of a year is always a good reminder to try harder.
1. Reach out to people you meet and be kind, even if they are not. You have no idea what they are going through. Have blind compassion.
2. Be patient with people. They do not have to live up to your standards, your schedule or your agenda.
3. Hug your kids more. Even teens who snarl. They need it most.
4. Never ignore a homeless person. If you do not want to give them money, at least acknowledge their presence.
5. Do something nice for someone, it does not matter who. Do it when you are feeling like no one cares about you. That is the best time.
6. Remember that you will die. We all will. But what we leave behind, in thoughts and memories, is important. So think before you speak. Someone may remember that the rest of their lives.
7. Try not to take yourself or others so seriously. But do not diminish other's thoughts or feelings. Why be a cloud in someone else's parade? Why do that? Just don't.
And so it goes.....Another year to hopefully be safe, happy and a bit wiser.
Peace to all.
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
~Charles H. Spurgeon
Approach the New Year with resolve to find the opportunities hidden in each new day. ~Michael Josephson