I woke from that dream sweaty, with a racing heart. I turned on my bedside lamp and leaned back against my pillows, attempting to get my bearings. I looked around my dim bedroom, at my dogs sprawled out around my feet, my husband curled up beside me sound asleep, and I thought How lucky am I?
I know that sounds cliche but there's a reason cliches exist, because they're relatable and generally true.
On one hand, I think How can I go about my day laughing and working when such suffering is happening to people I know? and then I think How can I not? That's my duty right now. There's nothing else I can do. I think of them and send positive vibes their way and then I go on living. I am overflowing with empathy and gratitude today.
One of the most beautiful yet frustrating things about being human is that the world doesn't stop turning when crisis befalls us. I have gone through experiences (grief, illness, divorce) where I've wondered how in the hell everyone else was acting so normal. As I get older, I realize that they had to, just as I have to now. That doesn't mean I'm not acknowledging others' tragedies and creating space for them.
Hug your loved ones today, hug your dogs, hug yourself. Wave to the other drivers on the road and send them thanks for paying attention and not causing an accident. Do those things every day.
So often we travel around through our days without realizing how connected we all are, how much our lives are in the hands of the strangers around us. Saturday afternoon I was in Wal-Mart (I know, what was I thinking?!) when there was a sudden sharp BANG. I grabbed my husband's arm and hid my face in his chest. I thought it was most certainly a gunshot. I squeezed my eyes shut, waiting for another bang or a scream. It turns out that a child had popped one of those large bright rubber balls and everyone was okay. But look at how everyone in that store could have had their life change in less than a second. Those things happen.
I wasn't able to get much sleep after my 2am wake up. I tried to distract myself with a book but I'm currently reading a sci-fi novel about a man who died and unbeknownst to his wife, had arranged to have his head cryogenically frozen so he can live forever in the future. The poor widow is fighting to get back her husband's head. Needless to say, that didn't take my mind off the tragic thoughts it was holding onto! It's a good book though!
As I made my To Do List this morning and drank my spinach smoothie, the thoughts that made up this post came to me. I felt compelled to write them down before they slipped away, and share them with the world. Why? Because I can. I have this day and I don't want to waste it. See? A cliche again, but so true.