Lessons in Life – Lesson #1 – Fix it Now

I do not profess to be an expert on anything but I do think that as we progress along this road called life, we pick up a few life lessons along the way that are worth sharing.

It is with this sentiment that this post is called Lessons in Life. Hopefully I can share more than one with you!

The past week or so, many of us watched the story of Zach Sobiech, a 17 year old young man diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. You can see his story here.  I couldn’t help but be inspired by this young man & the incredible insight he developed in such a short period of time here on earth.

One could argue that he may not have lived long enough to experience some of the true stressors in life, but what bigger stress could there be than knowing that your time with your loved ones is but a short journey & therefore to learn to embrace each moment as a gift.

His message is not new; it is one that many of us have heard through other people’s journeys when faced with a terminal illness.  Yet we continue to move through life, seemingly thinking there is so much time in front of us to change things, to repair broken relationships, to reconnect with lost family or friends. Too often we wait until time is running out before we see that perhaps some of the things we deemed unfixable, were actually fixable all along.

Fix it now! At the risk of sounding flip, don’t wait to be diagnosed with a terminal illness to fix something in your life that needs tending to. Sounds simple doesn’t it?  Not so for many. Sometimes we become so entrenched in being right, being angry, or blaming someone for all that is wrong in our life, that it consumes us with a lifetime of missing out on something or more importantly, someone who we love.

I often ask myself the following questions when faced with these dilemmas.

A year from now, will this matter?

Will this, in any way be harmful to me?

If I, or the person I was upset with, were to die tomorrow, would it matter to me that I didn’t make an attempt to fix this?

In most cases, the simple answer to the first two questions is no and the last one, yes.

Trust me when I tell you that I am as stubborn as a mule & have often been described as strong-willed & kind of bossy:)  I come from a long line of ancestors that were right! My grandmother kept a diary for most of her life & on more than one occasion was known to go to her diary to settle an argument as to who was right & who was wrong. More often than not, she was right…just sayin’. I have been told that I am a lot like her:0) I have as much difficulty as the next person letting go of what I feel is the right side of things or that my perspective is somehow more correct than the next person.

I am not suggesting for one second that you become someone’s doormat, but I do think we can find a happy medium. I have learned that I don’t have to share someone’s perspective in order to live in harmony with them.  I may see things in a totally different light but that doesn’t mean that the other person’s perspective was wrong. It is just how they see it. We can agree to disagree & move on.

Rather than form an enemy camp, find the courage to sit down & have an honest conversation. This is tougher than you think for you need to be able to open your heart to really hear their perspective, understand their side of things & the most difficult part, to let go of the harboured resentment/anger/jealousy/disappointment or all of the above, in order to move forward.

In the wise words of John Lennon, “give peace a chance”.

In most cases, we come out relatively unscathed and a wee bit wiser for having shared our thoughts on whatever the issue is. At the end of the day, most of just want to be heard & perhaps validated in our thoughts & feelings.

Spend your energy finding ways to make peace with the people that matter in your life. Better to at least have made the effort than find yourself at someone’s funeral wishing for one more conversation to make it right. If there is even a ounce of doubt, FIX IT NOW & enjoy the time you have together!



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5 Responses to Lessons in Life – Lesson #1 – Fix it Now

  1. karen mcboyle says:

    Lynn, I have had the privilege of working in palliative care for many years and have always said how much I enjoyed it ( much to the bewilderment of most )…the reason being that the dying have nothing to gain by being anything other than their true selves…I have learned so much from them and the statement that most of them make is that they wished they had spent more time and been more in touch emotionally with their loved ones….that the demands and desires of their busy lives mean nothing in the end…Its hard to try to do this and it is through things like this post that bring it again to the surface…..

    • lymart says:

      Karen, I admire you for having worked in palliative care, not an easy road. Clearly you found the upside of working with patients facing such difficult challenges and yet somehow found the positive in this role. I totally agree, at the end of our lives it appears the only thing that truly matters are the people that were part of our journey, we can all learn from that! Thank you for your comments, it is great feedback for me in knowing that someone is actually reading what I am writing:)

  2. Debbie says:

    You’ve said it so well, Lynn.
    And I quote:
    “I have learned that I don’t have to share someone’s perspective in order to live in harmony with them” This is true of friendships, marriage, parents, children, grandchildren, leaders (bosses, choir directors, fitness instructors, church seniors,) teenagers, grumpy old folks, silly people, structured people…. the list can be endless!
    “there can be a happy medium” Compromise or taking turns or sharing or giving space… There are many ways to reach a happy medium.
    I remember the first time I heard the expression: “We can agree to disagree.” My girlfriend and I were discussing the pros and cons of teaching our young children physical self-defense. (I was on the side that held the belief that kids under 8 or 10 or 12 cannot reliably understand the difference between self-defense and fighting. She thought otherwise.) I was so surprised to hear her state that we could agree to disagree, I laughed! But thinking about it, I realized that she had come to the conclusion that this could be an area of contention between us, and that it wasn’t worth losing our friendship over. We are still friends to this day, a quarter century later!
    ” At the end of the day, most of just want to be heard & perhaps validated in our thoughts & feelings.” So true, eh?
    One way I have found to find a way of “fixing” relationships is to try to see what others admire in this person, and then focus on that. Nobody is 100% perfect (not even me! ) and so I look for the really neat parts of a person’s character, personality, and belief set that we either share or that I admire.

    I’m liking your blogs, Lynn. You have a great way with words, and you are touching on really interesting, relevant topics!!! Thanks for sharing it to me 😀

    • lymart says:

      Thanks for your comments Debbie & I am glad to hear that I am writing about some things that are of interest. I too, have had to agree to disagree on a number of issues with people where I do not agree with their opinion. I guess that is what makes us all different and I believe that we all grow from having those discussions together. I like your comment about finding the neat part of someones personality. It is a great idea!

  3. Pingback: Lessons in Life – Lesson #2 – The Value of Time | Life After 50

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