Sunday, January 20, 2013
It's unfortunate that sometimes it takes something really bad to make us come to our senses on something, but that's the way life works. Recently back to work as a teacher, I share a study hall duty with another teacher who I had when I was a student ah... um, some years ago.
Anyway, I learned that he was very recently diagnosed with cancer and is going to be out on a medical leave for radiation and chemo. He's middle-aged and otherwise in good health, so without this diagnosis he'd easily have several good decades ahead of him yet. We were talking the other day and he said, "You know, I could kick myself for all the time I've wasted in my life. I think back to when I was 20 and all of the stupid things I did, and all of the awesome things I could have been doing instead." His life certainly hasn't been a waste - he has a family and is a person who definitely likes his job and puts himself into it. But I knew what he meant - it is amazing how much time we don't use to its fullest.
Since I've been back to work, I'm learning that some things are easier to balance and others harder. Healthier lifestyle in some ways is easier. When I'm at work, I can't snack whenever I want on whatever I want. I have to drink my water bottle throughout the day or end up totally parched by 3PM. And I've managed to squeeze in at least 15 minutes or so of cardio or cardio-sculpt type exercise most nights after the kids go to bed (AM isn't an option when I'm already waking up at 5:15 to get everyone out the door on time). Generally, I'm happy with how I've been managing my time, and I know it's a work in progress. But that conversation with my colleague really made me think. I'm only 31 - in theory, I should have a good amount of time left here on earth, but my memories in 20 years will only be as good as I make them today. My husband (also a teacher), had a former student pass away suddenly this week (medical issue) - a smart girl with a bright future, only 17 years old. Which means those next 20 years also aren't a guarantee, for me or anyone else.
Yes, you have to do laundry, get groceries, go to work, and everyone needs some down time. But the moral of the story, get up, get out, and get the most that life has to offer you (and your family). You never know when you'll be thrown a curve ball or when "game over" will suddenly pop up.