The last 365 days have had their ups and downs in our family. We've been to many soccer games, swim meets and music programs. We've dealt with various crises you have in a family with a teenager, an almost 10 year old and an 8 year old. We've celebrated 75th birthdays of both my parents and we've moved from one house to another.
2013 was a year of reflection for me - especially the last six weeks of the year - after my open heart surgery. I've realized how fragile life is and that how lucky I am to have been given a second chance at continuing my ride on this third planet from the sun. I could have easily dropped dead from a heart attack, but luckily, had the sense enough to tell my wife I didn't quite feel right and she took me to the ER. In my recovery from surgery, I've realized a few things:
- Cherish your friends and family. During our experience in November, we had many friends and family help us out in many ways. Whether it was helping us move our earthly goods from one house to another, bringing over a meal, an offer to watch the kids, a $20 bill in a get well card or a prayer from far away, we appreciated everyone of them.
- Be thankful for where you live. I feel so lucky to live in a community that has the benefits of a big city with the simplicity of a small-town. We have medical professionals who choose to live in a rural setting, but practice big-city medicine. I was able to have an advanced surgical procedure less than one mile away from my home. My wife and family did not have to travel hundreds of miles to be with me during my hospitalization.
- Sometimes life doesn't happen the way you have it planned. We've dealt with some things this year that we definitely weren't planning on doing the way it happened, but we all survived.
- Don't sweat the small stuff. I've looked pretty closely at some of the things I was doing a year ago and am evaluating if they are necessary. Some are, some aren't. I'll be saying "no" more often this year to some requests and saying "yes" to others. It's not because the ones I'm saying no to aren't worthwhile, there are some other items that need my attention a bit more.
Happy 2014. I'm looking forward to another trip around the sun!