I ought to be asleep. No, really. Normal people go to bed before 11 p.m. Normal people also go to bed before 12 a.m., and 1 a.m., and 2. More often than not, I go after 2. Even on work days. Even when I’m tired. Even when I haven’t gotten enough sleep for weeks and weeks and weeks.
You see . . . I just . . .
There’s so much more I want to do than I possibly can in sixteen hours. And since we’re supposed to sleep eight hours out of every twenty-four . . . I put sleep off until I absolutely have to and often end up getting less than I should . . . And sometimes, yes, sometimes, I regret it. But only sometimes.
Tonight is not one of those times.
My mind has been on overload lately. I am awed and overwhelmed by the warmth many of you have shown me. That you would take the time to read my silly rock-climbing story — some of you for a second, or third, or fourth time — blows me away. To me, it is just a story. Something that happened to a little girl a long time ago.
So . . . Thank you.
Recently, a friend of mine discovered that her husband has brain cancer. She is in her late twenties and he, his mid-thirties. They have two small children. The doctors are encouraging, but, still, brain cancer is scary stuff. Having just met someone very special in my own life, I can’t imagine what they’re going through — especially with two small kids.
There’s an ex-pastor, too, who has recently come to my attention. His name is Ryan Bell, and he was a Seventh-Day Adventist. He’s taking a step back from religion now, though, and questioning everything he ever knew. He has a blog called, “A Year Without God,” and I relate very much to what he says. No, I haven’t abandoned my faith completely (I was raised Adventist), but for a long time now I have questioned it. The God I believe in is bigger than any book, or a culture, or geography. The God I believe in knows no bounds.
And then of course there’s the job hunt and the worry about money, and the desire to do great things and see faraway places, and the hope to help others and leave behind a legacy . . .
We are all of us wanna-be Beowulfs. No one wants to be forgotten.
And I guess my point is: Life is complicated. Every single person on this planet is facing something that worries them. Every single person is stressed and anxious and maybe a little bit afraid — of or about something. We all face challenges every day . . .
There are so many lonely people out there, too. How is it that we are always surrounded and yet so many of us feel so alone?
Trust me, I’ve been there.
And so today, on the first day of the Lunar New Year and the Chinese Year of the Horse, I’d encourage anyone reading this to take a look at their lives and reflect on what is really important. What is it that makes you tick? Who and what are the people and the activities and the places you love that make this life worth living? What makes you feel fulfilled — and are those things really all about YOU?
Life is precious. So are people. Treat them, and it, well — and that includes YOU!