I have an old friend, Nancy*, with whom I’ve kept in touch over the years, although not so much recently.
Nancy spent the last ten years of her working life in a job she disliked. She had a calendar upon which she quite literally ticked off each day taking her closer to retirement at 60. Then she would have the freedom to do what she wanted and enjoy life with her husband, children, grandchildren and friends, spending the pension to which she’d contributed more over the years than she could easily afford.
She made elaborate plans for the travels she would take, the hobbies she would start, the causes she would get involved with. Notebooks full of plans. Not just wishes and dreams, concrete plans, with dates.
Just under a year ago, Nancy hit her sixtieth birthday, packed a few things from her desk into a cardboard box and left work for the last time with a spring in her step and a sigh of relief that now she could begin to enjoy the sweetness of her life and plans.
Today, Nancy is in the last days of her life, having been diagnosed with a particularly virulent cancer two months into retirement.
Why am I telling you this?
Because we all need a reminder from time to time to appreciate what we have while it’s here.
I like to make plans (I wrote recently about doing a year-end personal review), but it’s crazy to rely on them as more than a guide to what we want to do. Otherwise we let today slip through our fingers.
Live in the present, informed by the past and with a flexible eye to the future – what better resolution could there be for the coming new year?
The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you, don’t go back to sleep
See you soon
I won’t be back here at Pilgrim’s Moon until the beginning of 2013, so I wish you a very happy festive season, and thanks to all my readers for all the wonderful comments and support.