An old Boss once said to me "you'll spend the early seasons of your life going to weddings and the later seasons of your life going to funerals"! This rings true for me as this year I have attended the funerals of several close friends and family members. While the funeral services and memorials have all been wonderful celebrations of life, it is sobering to see so many in or near my circle facing their inevitable date with mortality. But the one common theme was that they left strong legacies of service and commitment to their families and their communities. This only increases my resolve to emulate their lives by living every minute of my life to the fullest and leave nothing on the table as a way to pay homage to them. It is my way to honor all those who have directly and indirectly been a part of shaping who and what I am today! I am reminded of a lyric from Drake the hip hop artist "everybody dies but not everybody lives", and it reinforces me to use the time that I have been blessed with wisely.
Seasons of life come and go, and it seems as I get older, they go much faster. I am constantly trying to figure out ways to slow things down and take time to truly "smell the roses" and experience as much as possible. In my current season of life, I've relearned that my most valuable resource is my time, and I have to treat it like the gold kept in the vaults at Fort Knox! I try to make sure I am intentional on who and what I allow to take or what I give my time to. With social media, 24 hour news, and the constant bombardment of content coming at us, it makes you believe everything matters and we have to engage and care about every issue. My life experiences and my spiritual growth have both helped me shape my narrative and to focus on those things that are relevant and worthy of my time and efforts. In short, I've learned to ignore the chatter that tries to distract me from working in my purpose to do my part and leave a positive legacy of service to others. Maturity and self-awareness have enabled me to find my true north, and anything that doesn't align with that, well it's noise, and not worthy of the few brain cells I have left. I have a sense of urgency in my life, and it forces me to guard my time like the precious commodity that it is, and only dedicate it to causes and issues that may hopefully have a generational impact. I feel I owe this to my friends and family who have passed on!
I recently attended the wedding of a dear friend who has found true happiness in a later season of her life. With all the funerals I have been attending recently, it was truly refreshing to be a part of a celebration full of joy and most of all hope. Happiness is not guaranteed or promised, but it is certainly a worthy pursuit. No matter what season of life you're in, hope for happiness can become the reality of happiness when you find your purpose and the person that helps to complete you. The gift of life is just that, a wonderful gift that shouldn't be taken for granted; because while the circle of life does not end, death is still a certainty.
It's difficult to watch loved ones transition, but it is a fact that we all have to accept. And as we accept this reality, we learn that it's confirmation that in each season of life, we have to do the best we can while we can, and not waste time and energy on anything that doesn't improve the human condition. We have to do our little piece and make it our goals to live hard, do good, and like my friends who have passed on, leave it better than we found it!