Life is for living. So live it.

2 Oct

A missive on living life to the fullest, as this day, these weeks, these months have taught us we must do. A rush of thoughts and emotions on this weird day that had us:

  1. Waking up to the news of 50+ people dead, 500 or so wounded in a horrifying automatic gunfire shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
  2. Finding out late afternoon that Tom Petty, of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers died today of cardiac arrest.
  3. These things coming on the heels of a) three horrifying hurricanes that destroyed Puerto Rico, many Caribbean islands, Houston TX and much of South Florida, and b) an earthquake in Mexico City that killed hundreds.
  4. All of this wrapped around the Jewish Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – where the liturgy says “on Rosh Hashanah it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed, who shall be written in the book of life for another year and who shall die” and then goes on to ask, who by fire, who by water, who by disease, who by famine, who by war, who by … who by … who by …

Holy. Crap.

Those who know me and my lovely wife Robin, know that we try very hard to live life to the fullest.  This summer has been a challenging one – after 18 months in a job I absolutely loved and was doing some of the best work in my career, I wound up out of a gig due to a reduction in force.  Yet, despite the crushing pressure to get my career back on track and my income reestablished, and despite draconian cuts to our lifestyle expenditures, we still worked hard on having fun and having a great summer filled with friends, laughs, adventures and more. Because we try to live life. At all times.

Here’s the lesson in all this tragedy:  Live life now.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you could do today.

Open that special bottle of wine.  Say “I love you” an extra time to your loved ones. Spend five extra minutes outside with the dog.  Play with the cat. Take an hour for lunch with a friend rather than hammering back a sandwich at your desk between emails. Call a pal you haven’t spoken to in eons, just for fun. Watch cartoons. Re-read an old favorite book or re-watch an old favorite movie. Or take the time to go to the movie theater to catch the latest release. Buy a hardcopy book. Put your smartphone on the bedside table for an entire weekend day.

Spend the bucks on the tickets to see the favorite act you loved as a kid one more time (sidebar:  Tom Petty had always been on my concert bucket list, and I finally was able to “tick the box” this past summer when we saw him in May in West Palm Beach FL with our dear friends from Alabama.). Go see Hamilton before it leaves town. What the hell, have a donut, or a hot dog, or a burger, or pizza or whatever indulgence pops in your mind.  Cut out for the afternoon and take in a ball game. Cuddle with the dog on the sofa for a much deserved nap. Go to somewhere awesome for a weekend. Blow off mowing the lawn because your buddy invited you to his porch for a beer.

Leave the dishes in the sink overnight because a romantic moment suddenly occurred. Get dressed up and go out for a great dinner at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try.  Take an hour on Sunday afternoon and walk to the ice cream shop for a cone. Lay outside and watch the clouds, or the stars, or the birds and just be in the moment with your mind empty.  Take a nap in the sunshine somewhere. Call your grandma, your grandpa, your favorite aunt or uncle or cousin. Listen to it rain. Go bang on the door of that new neighbor and say hello.  Stop at the lemonade stand of those kids down the street. Drop a buck or two into the kettle. Buy the Girl Scout cookies or the Cub Scout popcorn.

Take the long way home. Stop off at a bar for a beer. Take off your shoes and walk in the grass or on the beach. Organize an impromptu party at 9:00 at night.

Say “what the hell” and go be silly. Ask someone to hold your beer for a minute. Yell “Hey y’all, watch this!”

Feel things.

LIVE LIFE for now. As we’ve seen lately, it can all be gone in a blink.

As you were,

Stew

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