Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So much of what we worry about doesn't matter

I am as guilty of getting wound up in inconsequentials as the next guy or gal. The daughter of a card-carrying compulsive worrier, I come by it honestly, though I work hard at suppressing it. Really, so much of what we let spin us around or keep us up all night is fluff or dross.

Not important.

Not even close.

This week, we lost a member of our extended family to a fatal viral infection. She had been fighting both liver failure and breast cancer, and ultimately couldn't battle the infection. She was a lovely woman, gracious and loving, including us in her circle of family by the accident of my sister in law marrying her son.

Sure, folks are stranded on the wrong sides of the Atlantic Ocean, unable to fly through volcanic clouds. Sure, politicians of every stripe are yelling at one another through different media outlets, doing their best imitation of you're stupid/no you're stupider/you're a stupid poopy-head/you're the stupidest poopy-head who ever lived, etc. Sure, corporate profits are up again, even as financial corporations are being indicted for illegal activities.

But all that ends up being background noise.

Go find out what's important to you.

No. Find out *who's* important to you.

Go hug that person.

My husband turns 50 next month. His mother died at age 50 of a sudden death heart attack. My husband and I are almost the ages his parents were when the two of us met in 1982.

We were babies then.

Okay. So he was 22 and I was 19. Now we are the parents. The adults. The responsible ones.

I always knew 50 was way to young to die, but now I see just how young that was.

Life is uncertain. I keep reminding myself of that, trying to not just learn, but live the lesson of impermanence.

It's *today*, stupid.

What are you going to do today that's real and true and vital?


  1. Thank you for this, Lisa! My husband died at 51....I know how young that is! Marilou was just 63. that may seem old to you until you get there and then, hopefully, you will see just how young that is! I guess it's like I always say....the older we get the younger it looks! It was a tough week for all of us!

  2. Somehow, loss of a loved one always brings us back to our basics: family, friends, health. My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, all died at 48. I passed that 12 years ago, some of my not-so-nice friends say I'm living on borrowed time! The fact is we have come a long ways in nutrition -- knowing much more than our ancestors did. If I hadn't been self-educated in nutrition I would have died at 48. I have a friend who is 79 -- an avid nutritionalist. I keep warning him that if he continues the way he's going, he'll die healthy.