What do I value most in life? The answer changes from day to day.Ten years ago, when I weighed 528 pounds I put worth on having my health and my life back. Once I had lost much of the weight I thought that doing all of the things that I had been unable to even attempt for so many years would make me happy. The simple things that others took for granted, movies, bike riding and just a brisk walk through the park filled my life with joy. Three years ago, as my mother lay dying in a hospital bed, I valued most, the time I had left with her. I savored every second, hung on to every word and tried to etch every smile into my memory. A year later I place value in each and every lesson my mother taught me. I value the strength and independence she passed on to both my sister and myself. I finally recognize the sacrifices she made to give us a better life. I have come to understand and appreciate the many lessons she instilled in us, although, at the time, her words seemed to fall upon deaf ears.
I now realize, that time is so much more valuable than money. You can save, spend and lose a fortune, only to win the lottery the next day, but time is fleeting. Precious days, hours and even seconds are stolen from us never to be returned. Think of all you can see, hear and smell in just an hour of walking through a forest. The sunsets, snowflakes and wildflowers that we take for granted every day as we rush to our cars, late for work. The smiles, hugs and handshakes we sacrifice in a world focused on texting and typing. Think about all the real friendships lost in part to our “social networks”. They are replaced instead with a ten year old picture of someone we will never meet, who can only offer an invitation to play “Candy Crush” in return for your so called friendship.
What do I value, you ask? I place immeasurable worth on loyalty, honesty and integrity. I have been deceived, mislead and betrayed throughout my lifetime. I have placed my trust in some loathsome individuals who did not understand the priceless gift they had been given. They took my kindness as weakness and preyed upon my good nature. The scars they left upon my heart and soul were hurtful and disheartening, but the lessons learned were significant and invaluable. I was forced to examine my life and to learn to appreciate my true friends. Today, I realize that the sincere devotion of just one friend means more than the artificial admiration of a dozen. A true friend, I have found, will tell you when you’re wrong…to your face…and not behind your back.
I value my education and am thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to go back to school and use my brain!. I value the lessons taught by my mentors and instructors along with each and every personal experience that they share with all of us. Learning is living. To stop learning is to begin dying.
So, as I said, the things I value may change a bit from day to day. Often, one doesn’t realize how valuable something really is, until it is forever lost. Today, I must say, that I value most, the expectation that I will wake up tomorrow and use that time to do something I have never done, see something I have never seen and accomplish something that I have never even imagined.