With this time of Thanksgiving and then Christmas following right after it there are several different feelings that people are having. With the stress of the economy it can be a feeling of being overwhelmed and wondering how you are going to pull the holidays off at all. Then there are others that have so much to do that they are moving through their check list and not really stopping to really think about the holidays and why we celebrate. For others they are taking time to really think about what each of the holidays mean and striving to get the most out of each of them.
Regardless of where you are at in your life it is important to take a minute each day and "Think to Thank." Whether it is thanking those around you that bless your lives or just remembering to thank those that do the simple things throughout the day for you. Whether it is holding a door open for you or a taxi cab driver or a boss, children, wife, husband, etc. As you "Think to Thank" you will be amazed at how much better you will feel. All of a sudden you will find that you are giving something that truly comes from the heart.
This is really deep, but something that I have been thinking about a lot lately and this week hit home really strong. Over the last several years I have found myself not wanting to leave people with bad feelings or even having a fight carry on for very long. I have always thought to myself that I didn't want to have any regrets if something happened to someone I loved and couldn't fix the silly fight or mean things that were said. We never know what people are going through and what is causing them to act they way they are. In the grand scheme of things is what we are fighting about really worth the fight and harming family or friendship relationships.
The other thing that I have thought about is that we more than likely won't ever have the same people, same activity, same feelings, same experiences happen all at one time again besides the moment that it actually happens. How do you want to remember that moment? How do you want to feel about that experience? Do you want to remember the stress you were feeling, the list of things that have to be done or should be done instead of being there, being mad at someone who is there, etc. Or , if you have taken the time to go to the event do you want the memory to be fun, laughter, conversations with positive memories, etc.
With these things to think about there have been a couple of experiences that have happened this week that has caused me to reflect much deeper on this:
On Wednesday, November 17th an instructor and student from a local college were in flight. Their plane stalled and it ended up crashing near an elementary school. Both the student and instructor were killed. The student had just recently gotten married. The instructor was a mother of a 4 year old and an 18 month old. I didn't know her at all, but the story struck me really hard. It has caused great emotion in me. I found her husband on Facebook and he posted the day that she passed away that he had lost his wife. Then the next day he posted a video he made of his 4 year old saying bedtime prayers. It is a short prayer, but the power behind the prayer is very powerful and emotional. He wants Jesus and Heavenly Father to take care of his mom and misses her. As I watched this I thought about my own children and what memories I would want my children to have of their mom if something happened. What memories and things am I teaching my children.
The other thing that struck me was an interview her husband did on the news and he talked about the last thing that he remembers with her is giving her a hug and a kiss and telling her that he loved her. What a great last memory to have with her. What if they had just had a fight and they had said mean things to each other as she left? What do you want your last memories and words to be with the people you love in your life? At least he doesn't have any regrets on what his last words were to her.
We were at a Family Christmas Party (I know it is a little early) last night and a family tradition that this family has had for as long as I have been in the family is to have my husband's grandpa read the Nativity. There have been years with young children that I have thought to myself that we needed to get it over with so my kids wouldn't be so noisy and frustrating to everyone. I have thought at times that I know the story and so do my children and do we need to do it every year at the family Christmas party since we do it on Christmas Eve. These have been thoughts that I realize now I shouldn't have had.
To my children it is their Great Grandpa and the years with him here with us might not be many. Over the last couple of years that he has read the Nativity it has been a more emotional experience for me. I want to always be able to capture Grandpa reading the Nativity. My children will never forget the sweet spirit that comes with him reading the Nativity. It is something they know happens every year and something they talk about.
How will you live your life with NO REGRETS? During this holiday season as the list of things to do and places to be becomes longer than you can possibly do take a minute and think about these things. Capture the memories and take time to enjoy right where you are at. The list of things to do will continue to grow and will always be there, but the people won't.