The Small Stuff

As this year fades into history, I’ve been thinking about my New Year resolution. Unlike past years when I’ve concentrated on three or four, I only have one for 2012. It’s simple and probably sounds cliché. I’m going to live each day as if it were my last. Before you roll your eyes at the piety of my goal, it’s not what you may think.

When I was with an elderly gentleman during his final days, he cautioned me that life goes fast until you’re 30. Then it flies until you’re 50 and in a blink you’re 90. Like so many of my patients, he didn’t have regrets about not “achieving success”.  He said the one thing he would do differently is that he would simply appreciate the small things more and not take everyday joys for granted.

Last week, I was with a young mother who only has a few weeks left. Through tears she said she wishes she had more time to hug her children. She didn’t want time to sail around the world or make a name for herself. She shared that the thing she is going to miss most is her sons’ smiles.

So for me, it’s no longer about a lofty spiritual goal or making an unforgettable memory. Instead of coming up with a list of changes I’m going to make or the great things I want to do for God, I’m simply going to bask in God’s love and grace as I appreciate the little things.

I want to savor the daily routine, what seems mundane. I want to relish the laughter of my children, cherish the touch of my hubby, treasure the closeness of my mom, sisters and brother and enjoy close friendships.

In 2012, I‘m going to value the small things as if it's my last day because it’s all the seemingly insignificant stuff that makes this life so amazing.

Katie with her cousin, Ali