Life has a way of taking you by surprise. Grasping your heart strings and tugging, sometimes ever so gently, and at other times like it's got a 100lb weight on the end of it. Life has a way of running away with you, challenging you to race from one thing to the next, through one day and straight headfirst into tomorrow. A roller coaster ride of numerous ups, plenty of downs and even some upside downs thrown in for good measure. It's easy to get lost in the fray, to focus on the next up or dread the next down. It's all too easy to just let life whiz by. Life is so very precious, and what we do with it, how we spend it, also has the potential to be precious, to add to someone's day or to subtract from someone's day. To mend a broken heart, or to add to someone else's bad day. Each day holds within it numerous choices.
I don't know why I have been so contemplative lately. Maybe it's the age I turned this year (not a biggy yet!). Maybe it's the fact that we have become parents of a son who's spread his wings and flown. Maybe it's as the summer's end is near and a new school year begins, and I reflect on last year and the year to come. Maybe it's as our youngest daughter asks to play 'jackpot' the ball game one more time, or still brings me flowers from the garden. Maybe it's when I watch the movie 'Sound of Freedom' and weep for where the world has gone. It's not so easy to just be anymore. Everything seems so much more confusing these days than when I was young. Remember the days when you played outside till the streetlights came on? When everybody seemed to know everyone else's business on the street and actually looked out for one another.
Yet, here I find myself in the beautiful hills of Allegany County, playing Jackpot one more time before bed, smelling the flowers freshly picked on the dining room table, and being thankful. Thankful that I get to do life, with all of its ups and downs, with my family. Thankful for technology that keeps me linked to my family overseas, and thankful for good neighbors that look out for one another on our little part of the world here in WNY. Each day I have a choice to, 'stop and smell the roses', or to barrel through to tomorrow. I don't always choose what is right, but days like today, days like today remind me to sit a spell, to take the time, to hold onto that hug for just a little longer, laugh a little harder. I may not be able to change the big things that are going on in the world right now, but I can start by changing the small things in my world right now, and maybe just maybe that will ripple over into your world, and your world will ripple into someone else's and before we know it that small ripple has gained momentum and is enough to change the big things in the world.
For now, I'll try to remember to pause a little more, laugh a little harder, listen a little better and well...... there's always time to cuddle some piglets if all else fails!