“Everything you do has an impact. Who you are – that you are – actually matters. In an interconnected world (the only kind we have), our actions and the actions of others are inextricably linked- we are always and forever in a dance of mutual influence with those with whom we directly and indirectly participate. It is the unavoidable reality of being social creatures, only magnified by an ever-increasingly complex and interwoven societal structure. We matter to each other.” – Paul Greiner
This sums up my feelings about so many people and about so many things. Today I sobbed as I viewed the faces of all those lost in the Vegas tragedy. They mattered to so many people and today they mattered to me even though I did not know them.
Life is truly fragile and I am ever reminded of this. I try very hard to live every day as if it is my last. Am I always successful ? No, but I really wish to live life as fully as I can, love those I can and let the people in my life that I am closest to know they matter. I don’t want to wait til someone passes away for them to know that they really matter to me.
So if you are one of those precious people in my life reading this , know that you do really matter to me and I am so grateful to have you in my life. So today and every day let others know that they matter and hopefully you too will see as Greiner says that in this complex interwoven societal structure we matter to each other.
One of my all time favourite educators and authors is Leo F Buscaglia. I started Hug Days in my school district because of Leo in the days when it was ok to hug students. I still believe it is ok to hug students , recognizing boundaries and always being respectful of students and their boundaries.
What did I learn from Leo that I still think applies to students and myself today? Here are some of the lessons i learned from the amazing Leo Buscaglia:
Love learning , love life, love yourself, love …
“Perhaps love is the process of leading you gently back to yourself” Saint -Exupery
Make yourself into the best person you can be, because you are all you have
Schools should be the most joyful places in the world
Live fully alive
“Oh God , to have reached the point of death,only to have found that you have never lived at all ” Don Quixote
Leo wanted us to live fully to enjoy every single moment of life
“I think the purpose of life is to be useful,
to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate.
It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something,
to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
Accentuate what is right instead of focusing on what is wrong
Feel free to make mistakes and learn from them
Believe in change
Every time we learn something new we become something new
You control your destiny
Stop looking for or striving for perfection
Life isn’t always easy, but rise to the challenge to face life head on
“Everyone needs at least one person to love them no matter what ” Leo Buscgalia
Be that someone for someone
You need a path with a heart
Be real , be you
There is so much more to know, to be, to do
A favorite question Leo liked to ask was … If you only had five days to live, how would you spend them? With whom?
We need to always reflect on this and live … fully live.
Death teaches us what love is
Ask yourself “What are YOU giving to life?’
If you have never read Leo Buscaglia’s books do it now.The lessons are timeless. These lessons are from Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. Stay tuned for more lessons from Leo.
Nothing matters more to me than my family. I am at a point in life where our children are grown up and don’t need me as much, but I continue to love every moment I spend with them. They bring a smile to my face and joy in my heart every time I sit down to a meal with them or get to be around them. I am grateful … oh so grateful. I hope my children and husband realize just how much they mean to me not only by my actions, but also through my words. Part of the reason I blog is for my children so that they can see another piece of who their mother is. My heart is so full of love for them.
“One Hundred Years From Now”
One hundred years from now
It won’t matter
What kind of car I drove
What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my clothes looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child.
Author: (excerpt from “Within My Power” by Forest Witcraft)
“What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life”. This is the song that played at our wedding and it holds true for my children as well as my husband. Seeing this you tube video was a trip down memory lane for me because as a teenager I loved Donny Osmond. We’ll let’s say i liked him,my friend was obsessed with him .I flew to Toronto to see him with my friend Evelyn when I was fifteen years old. (LOL) . I digress. The point I really want to make is my children and my husband have made a profound positive difference in my life.
I am so fortunate to have amazing friendships that lift me up, bring me great joy and fill my heart with love. We have bonds that cannot be broken. We share so many special moments in life. Each friendship I have I absolutely treasure. I value the precious moments I have with them and don’t ever take them for granted.
I moved to Calgary via Nova Scotia and Atikameg in 1981. It was a move that would change the course of my life and so began my story of lifelong adult relationships.
Fortunately for me I have enjoyed wonderful friendships in my life, so I knew how they could make a difference and sustain me. I have lifelong childhood friends from Nova Scotia who remain my dear friends today. Even though I have been away for thirty-five years, we still make a point of seeing each other and celebrating our friendships every summer.
Little did I know when I moved to Calgary, it would become my home or that I would discover extraordinary life giving friendships that would sustain me for life. “The gang” as we would so affectionately call ourselves are wonderful, kind, intelligent, considerate, amazing, loving and caring people. Our connections remain unbreakable.
The thing that I think is so amazing about these people is that we have been friends for over twenty-five years and never ever had a fight or major disagreement with one another.
In over twenty-five years we have missed very little time where we go not seeing each other. We have celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Years, birthdays, births, deaths, and we often get together for absolutely no reason at all. There rarely goes by a month where we don’t sit down once , twice or even more times together to enjoy a feast.
Every celebration creates fabulous memories. We laugh, sing, play games, tell stories and just plain enjoy each other’s company. Our children have been blessed with such great role models of positive, lasting friendships.
We are there for each other whenever anyone needs something no matter what. I can count on these people for whatever I need. They are my family. No, we are not related, but we are closer than some families. We have made a connection that will last a lifetime.
What do we all have in common? We moved to Calgary to work. We needed to be able to use the skills from our education. It was a place to create a life for ourselves. None of us knew we would remain in Calgary after all these years. There are other commonalities, but this and the fact that we all had no family in Calgary brought us together.
We all happen to be from a place near the water. Prince Edward Island, Vancouver and Nova Scotia. Other friends come to some of our celebrations, but they don’t get to celebrate all of them because they have family here in Calgary. The rest of us don’t ( except for a few cousins who we adore).
I absolutely love these people, and so do our children. We have been blessed with laughter in abundance over the years. I have positive memories that are etched vividly in my mind and will be passed on down to our children and hopefully our future grandchildren. There are stories upon stories that have been shared over the years. We never get tired of telling each other stories.
When I tell people about how much we really care about each other after all these years, they are often amazed. Really, we have never fought with each other about anything throughout the years.
What a gift I have been given. If I could I’d jump over mountains for these people I most definately would. They make such a difference in my life. I have work friends, neighbourhood friends, long distance friends , on line friends ( yes, you can create amazing on line friendships) and lifetime friends. Each holds a special place in my heart. each is a true gift.
I have been so blessed with all the friends that surround me. I can’t even put into words what they have meant to me.
If I pass anything onto my children it will be this.
Find great friends, not friends you necessarily always agree with all the time, but friends who you love being around and they love being around you.
Friends who :
accept you just the way you are
you can laugh and cry with
would be there in a minute no matter what you needed
the spouses / partners like and respect each other
don’t mind being silly with you no matter how old you are
share the good times and the bad with you
you always know will be there no matter what the circumstances
share your hopes, dreams, successes and losses
find friends who always seem to know the right thing to say or do
I am so happy to celebrate my friends. I want to shout from the mountaintops that YOU have provided me with some of the happiest memories of my life. I LOVE YOU so so much!
3. Life is To Be Lived
I have believed for many many years that we need to live life to the fullest, maybe because of all the early deaths that have happened to people I have loved or people I have cared for. Zach is an amazing example for all of us. He is a teacher with many wonderful lessons and ones that are definitely worth sharing.
You don’t have to find out you are dying to start living
most people live in the middle, but you don’t have to
be empathetic and compassionate
always look for the good in people
things are OK when you believe in something greater
what makes you happy is seeing someone else smile because you put it there
what’s awesome about living in this world is that you can help people
the structure of a family is great
to be in the same room with your siblings is enough
it is not the life in your years , but the years and passion you put into your life
spend time with the people you love
it’s ok to dream big
celebrate the life you have
you can communicate love through music
music can heal
releasing feelings through music is helpful
letting people know you love them is important
sticking together as a family is extremely important
be happy no matter what
treat people the same and everything will be fine
smile despite what is happening in your life
memories are essential…create positive ones
fill your heart up with joy
it’s ok to have ultimate dreams
people we don’t really know can change our lives
the way you live matters
surround yourself with those people that lift you up
LOVE makes life BETTER
Zach says it alll better than I could ever do, his message is one that I will share again and again. Thanks Zach for giving us your gift of life. I know I treasure each day I have been given.
4. Find a Career You Love
I have been blessed with work I love to do. I have felt honoured to be able to be in the presence of so many students who have helped to teach me so much in life. I feel honoured that they allow me to enter into their world. Each day I go to work I am grateful. It doesn’t mean that every moment of every day I am happy, but most moments of most days I really am very happy. My work brings me great joy and fulfillment. I really try to put passion into practice .
5. Have Hope
Life is not always easy and sometimes just downright hard, but having hope has gotten me through all the rough times. Even when I might have felt like giving up I haven’t because I could see a spark of hope. May you find HOPE in your life.
Music can heal the soul and inspire hope. I love music , well who doesn’t. This last song is one when I hear it , I think of my husband who I am forever grateful for. Finding him is a gift that has made my life better. The words speak what I have in my heart.
This reflective post has been worth sharing for me. Thanks to Maureen Crawford for inspiring this post.
Now I challenge you . What are your 5 things worth sharing?