I am still smiling from ear to ear after the great response I received last Thursday from the “Stop, Look and Listen” post! Thanks to everyone who took the time to read it, and a special shout out to those who took the time to comment. In case you missed it, here it is again:
I have been “practicing what I have been preaching” on a couple of items and wanted to give you an update:
I recently reached out to an old colleague that I have not spoken to in many years. Our relationship was a little choppy to say the least for a long time and we happily stayed “out of touch” as our careers continued with different organizations. They were happy to re-connect via social media, and vowed to stay in touch going forward.
I also had a face-to-face meeting with an old friend when he visited my city recently. We had not really hung out for the better part of ten years, and it was awesome to see each other again! We were the best of friends in university and stirred up the occasional bit of trouble, so it was nice to sit down and chat. We picked up right where we had left off which is what I expected to happen!
For the above situations, so much time had passed, I was not even sure why we “broke up” in the first place. It is all water under the bridge now. Time to move on.
A third story has been on my mind a lot since last Thursday. I became quite close with a customer of mine many years ago early in my career. We had a lot in common, and loved to talk about hockey every time I visited his store. If memory serves me correctly, we stayed in touch for a bit after I started a new role, but we finally drifted apart and never communicated again.
As my mind drifted during work last week, I finally decided that it was time to take action and reach out to him again after all these years. Within an hour of making that commitment to contact him, I received a very disturbing email. He had passed away suddenly the night before. I was in absolute shock.
– Is it time to reach out to somebody from your past?
– Is it time to leave the “past in the past” and move forward?
– Is the time to do that TODAY?
Things can change in an instant – unfortunately my third story proves that.
Hope I can motivate all of you to take action!
Just before Christmas we found out that our wonderful dog Chase had terminal cancer and only had a few weeks to live. Although we were quite upset, he had come through major health issues the previous year so we were not surprised. My wife and I agreed to keep him as long as he was doing fine, and as soon as he showed signs of a drop off, we would put him down.
I tried to play the “he’s just a dog card”, but that did not work. It was a very difficult time when he took a turn for the worst. We scheduled an appointment at the vet the next day. The following afternoon, my whole family was out, so I had a chance to sit with him on our deck.
It was an abnormally mild January day for Northern Alberta, which allowed him one last chance to hang out in the yard that he loved so much. He was not able to chase the squirrels like had had done hundreds of times before, but he was able to lie there as I stayed close.
As I sat with him and shut off the world around me, I stopped everything that I was doing, looked around at the place that he had called home for so many years, and just listened to all the sounds around us. I had not been in that relaxed a state for what seemed like months, and was able to fully disengage from the hustle and bustle of life to be in the moment with him. I became so relaxed that I actually fell asleep with him on the deck for one of the last hours of his life!
I reflected upon this event a few weeks after he had passed, and thought fondly about our time together in the yard taking it all in. We get so wrapped up getting through the day that we don’t take enough time to stop, look and listen. I can’t remember the last time I just sat with Chase in the back yard and hung out. There were always other things happening that seemed more important than just being with him.
Perhaps you may want to:
– Cut back on your workload to spend more time with family, friends and even pets
– Reduce your outside commitments so you can have some “me time”
– Take up a hobby again that you have been unable to keep up with because life got in the way
– Connect with people that you have not corresponded with in a long time
Stop, look and listen to everything around you. Take a breath and be thankful for everyone that you hold dear, and focus more on them. You never know how long they will be around for!