life is precious — treat it well

2014-year-of-horse-chinese-new-yearI 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.

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Yes, this is me  — rock climbing after my accident. A wanna-be Beowulf, indeed.

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!

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Images: Google

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22 thoughts

  1. Like you, I am a very later sleeper. 2am or after is the time I usually put head to pillow (and cast my phone aside under the covers). I just want to do so much – write, play my ukulele, sing, everything! So sorry to hear about your friend and her family – hope they keep positive and everything will work out for them.

    I’ve read your rock climbing story, and it’s very inspiring how you’ve become ‘normal’ once again :) It must have been a challenging story to tell. Reflecting on my life this Lunar New Year, I’d say all I want is good health (I’ve haven’t been well lately) so that I can smile at others and make them happy.

    • That sounds like a good goal, Mabel — to make others smile. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to go in my own life lately. Looking at jobs, it’s hard to get excited about a job that doesn’t seem important to me — like, I want to work for a company whose mission I believe it. I want to feel like what I’m doing something for a greater good.

      Thanks for reading my story. I wish you the best in the coming year, and am so grateful for your friendship. Maybe we should both make it a goal to try to go to bed earlier? ;)

      • A lot of the time, I think, would it be all that bad to work for a company part time, just for the money? I’ve come to the conclusion…perhaps not. We all want to pursue our dreams and basically “do good” in our lives, but then there’s something called “reality” :( For me, so long as I uphold the values that are important to me and still get to write in some capacity, I hope things will turn out okay :)

        I am glad to know you as a friend, Jess. Always nice chatting to you and you say the most insightful things!

      • There is nothing wrong with working for money while upholding our values, Mabel. And I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. By doing our jobs well and treating others kindly, we are impacting others around us for good, and that is the most important thing. I guess, for me… All I meant was that writing things I’m not interested in (for a job) will eventually bore me to tears. And I don’t want that!

        I really enjoy chatting with you, too! :)

  2. “The God I believe in is bigger than a book, or a culture, or geography. The God I believe in knows no bounds.” Exactly. I just can’t understand why people can’t at least take as a possibility, that an infinite God could be outside of their finite conceptualisation… but don’t get me started.

    • Lol, I’m so glad there are others out there who think the same way I do. In Christianity, people always say God is infinite, so why do Christians always try to put Him in a box?!

  3. I wrote something about faith a while back and it dealt with my views on religion in a roundabout way. I can see how it can make people doubt. My reason why is pretty unpopular I would think. I think it is because of the bible.

    As a kid, I sat in church and listened to stories about Jesus. He seemed happy in the pictures. Laughing and surrounded by common people. He did great things. He was adventurous and always traveling to meet new people.

    What came from the pulpit seemed to be different. Not laughing and happy. Condemnation. The people in the pews looked serous.

    In my goofy opinion, religion is not about laws and suppression. It is about elevating yourself to be a better person with the best back up clause ever…that we are only human so we are not perfect. We just have to believe and get off our butts and enjoy life and do something for others.

    If a being that can walk on water can spend his time helping the poor and downtrodden without viewing them as lazy people seeking handouts (just read your friends’ comments on Facebook about the poor); then we can too.

    • Amen, Steve. My views on religion have come largely from a) wondering what I’d believe if I’d been raised in a different social circle, and b) realizing the vast differences between the culture in which I was raised and other cultures around the world. Religion is cultural. Yes, there has to be a “greater truth” that surrounds us all, but to me that greater truth has more to do with our hearts and actions than to what religion we prescribe. Your last paragraph about helping the poor and downtrodden without viewing them as lazy hits right on this mark.

      Thank you! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend!

  4. Gong hay fat Choy! It’s awesome you remember the new year even though you’re now stateside.

    I’m guilt too.. I often sleep late, I’m definitely a night owl; it was my new yes resolution to sleep 7 hrs a night but I fail at it miserably.

    But I will say that you and I both should keep each other accountable in getting more sleep- there’s so much new research stressing how sleep helps remove the toxins in our brain at night and also improves our memory and focus.

    • I believe it, Sophia. I am definitely trying to get more sleep. Yes, we should try to hold each other accountable!

      And, yes, I always remember the Lunar New Year. It’s hard not to since I have so many friends from around the globe on facebook. Everyone in Taiwan and Hong Kong is *sure* to say something about the new year! So “Gong hay fat Choy” to you, too! :)

  5. Life is a wheel and as the wheel rolls we touch others with what has touched us. Some call it communication. I call it love. The wheel is the mechanism by which we either have influence or do not have it. It is a choice that blesses because love that is given away always returns to bless you another day. LOL

    • I like that analogy, Marie. And I do believe that love is and essentially works like karma. We can’t help but touch others in our lives. The impact we have, though, and what comes back to us, *is* all up to us.

  6. Happy Year of the Horse Jess! Every year we all hope to make the new one the best ever, and sometimes stepping back and reflecting on how lucky we are to have what we have can provide the fuel to make it so. Your rock climbing accident a great example, seeing the gifts that we have makes it easier to go out and “make each day a championship day.”

    (Borrowed that last line from Russell Wilson…a pretty good philosophy to live by). Cheers!

    • Sorry for my late response, Randy! Thank you so much, and Happy Year of the Horse to you, too! Yes, we need to not take any day for granted and live life to the fullest. To be honest, I can’t think of many people living as fully as you. Travel is one of the most fulfilling things we can do (in my opinion). Hope your year is off to a great start!

    • Exactly! Just not *too* little sleep. Because without enough sleep, the life we live awake is of less quality!

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Jay! Hope you’re having a great day. :)

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