Living in Las Vegas, I have done a lot of reflecting this last week, while also being so grateful that I and all of my friends are safe. I am so grateful that every person that I actually know that was in attendance at the Route 91 Festival made it out physically unharmed. Mentally is a whole different story, and one that I hope they will all heal from over time. I can only hope to never experience what they have, and was so filled with love and gratitude for everyone that reached out to make sure I was safe or to let me know how happy they were that I was safe.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I will bend over backwards for those that I consider true friends, and that includes any time I have a chance to spend time with them. So often over the years, and sadly even more often in the last year, I have heard, wow that’s a long way to go when I am willing to go an hour or two out of my way during my travels if it means being able to see a friend, or traveling 4 hours to an event just because a friend is holding it. This last week? That is exactly why I am willing to go an hour or two, and yes even 4 at times, out of my way to see my friends. There are now 58 innocent people that no longer have that option. There are now friends and family of 58 people that no longer have that option in order to see that one person. Think about that. What if one of those 58 people was your loved one that you could no longer spend time with??? What if you were one of those 58 and you could no longer physically spend time with your loved ones??
I believe in living my life without regret because even if you make a bad decision, it was what you wanted in that moment, so why regret it? You’ve learned from it, now take that lesson and move on. Part of that for me is taking advantage of as many opportunities as are presented to me as I can – whether to do something, go somewhere or to spend time with friends whether I see them once every few years, once a year, or all the time.
We get so caught up in our “busy lives” that so many often forget to put not only themselves, but their loved ones first. Be the one that lets your friends know, not guess, but know that they are special to you. Do you know how that makes them feel??? I do because they tell me how it makes them feel when I go out of my way to spend time with them. We are all busy. It just depends on what you do about it. Do you let it stop you? Or do you value your time with your loved ones more because of it?
I learned from a very early, too early, age just how short life is. Growing up in the world of neuromuscular diseases will do that. When you watch kids that are your age die from complications of their illnesses, you understand just how precious the time is that you get to spend with your friends and family, and you learn not to let an opportunity go by to spend time with them. When you lose both of your younger brothers at early adult ages you are reminded of that lesson you learned so young.
I do not want anyone living in fear of death, it happens to all of us. What I want us all to start doing is living our lives with intention and with a purpose other than just getting by in life and working non-stop. Believe me, I work for myself, I am the picture of working way too much BUT I also take the time for my friends at every opportunity that I can. Am I perfect, heck no, nobody is. But if we all strive to spend more time with those that make us smile, instead of focusing only on work and making money, then the world will start to be a much happier place, not only because you are happier and smiling more, but also those that you are spending time with will be the same.
Every person is in our life for a reason whether it’s for a short time or long term. Are you taking the time to enjoy them and learn from them? Or are you taking for granted that they will always be there?