Never simply live, always live simply

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

We all lead busy lives. It’s so easy to get caught up into making it to work, getting everything on your “to do” list accomplished and then heading home to cook, clean and make it to little league.

All of those things are a part of life. Most of us can’t go without a job because then we wouldn’t have a place to live either. The every day toils and work of having a home, rearing children and taking care of the daily grind are a part of how we live.

Sometimes I think all of us have to wonder, isn’t there more to life than this?

For a variety of reasons that thought has been with me for about a month now. I enjoy my job, appreciate my co-workers and love nothing better than being a father. Still, I wonder if the way we spend our time is the best use of our time.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older or maybe it’s because I’m a nostalgic sort of person by nature, but I think quite a bit about how short life is. There are so many people I loved that are not here anymore and sometimes it’s troubling.

I’ve mentioned before in this space that four of us grew up together in Askewville. We played together, laughed together and stayed in each other’s home as babies and young children.

Now, with me at 37 years of age, I’ve lost two of them already. Shannon died when she was just 18 years old and Tracy was killed in an automobile accident four years ago.

Tracy died in the month of April and Shannon died in June, but was born in May. That makes these three months pretty difficult for me each year.

I try very hard to learn from what happened to them that life is short and oftentimes shorter than you plan for or imagine.

In some ways, I think I do that well. I am probably more open about saying, “I love you” to those I care about than any man I know. I never leave my family or those I care about without letting them hear that I do. That is because I try to remain cognizant of the fact that any time we part company could be the last time.

Where I fail miserably is that I all too often get caught up in living life for today. Instead of living life, I simply exist. I think all of us are guilty of that sometimes.

My best friend as a teenager was one of four children. She and the other five people who lived in her house had just two bedrooms. Her parents worked hard and the family shared everything.

They taught me so much about living life every day. I don’t think they took it for granted. They were hard workers, but when it came time to play, they played hard too.

Too many times in my adult life I have forgotten that lesson. I’ve forgotten to enjoy the every day miracles that happen around us.

I’m working on my own mindset right now. I spent last weekend in Wilmington with friends, just hanging out and enjoying the days. I went for a walk on the beach, interacted with some new friends and reminisced with some old ones. It was a rewarding three days.

I didn’t think once about tomorrow. I lived those three days for today. That’s life as it should be, according to the Bible.

&uot;So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” according to Matthew 6:34.

I guess the bottom line is this. We have to live for today, because tomorrow may not ever be here. If the people around you are important to you, tell them. Don’t take the chance that they would wonder about your feelings if something happened to you.

I want to do a better job of appreciating life and the time I spend with the ones I love. I know through personal experience that those moments may be taken away from you.

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks? All are welcome.

You can reach me at or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.