This week was interesting. I've continued to thoroughly enjoy my time in Connecticut staying with my friends Dom and Jen. It's basically been a fantasy camp - running nearly every day through the rural hills and trails, enjoying the perfect weather, swimming in their pool, playing snooker, and feeling a lack of stress about work.
Then, as if I needed a reminder that life isn't always fair, three separate negative occurrences happened to people I care about in the span of 48 hours. A friend who I became close with through high school sports suddenly passed away; a couple close friends from work were let go during Covid lay-offs; and a close friend was diagnosed with cancer.
Not surprisingly, all of these events actually made me quite sad, and the accumulation of them had me starting to ask questions and ponder life a little bit more. I think we're all susceptible to reverting to the typical sayings when receiving news like this - the classic "live life to the fullest" or "you never know how much time you have left".
These are important concepts, but more broadly, I just want to focus on being nice, staying as patient as possible, calling friends and family who I miss, and not taking life too seriously.
For the most part, if you're reading this blog, you're crushing it in life, relative to a very high percentage of the population. And with that crushing, comes a fairly high level of control around how and with whom you spend your time. Considering that, I'm going to continue spending more time doing things I find fun, with people who make me feel happy.
There's a ton of unknown in life and that's what makes it incredible. But whether you're going to live to 120 or die tomorrow, I think you'd want to at least believe you enjoyed life, regardless of the roller coaster it presented.
My 99-year-old Granny (who called me as I was writing this), always signs her birthday and Christmas cards with the words "be happy" and that's one of many things I love about her. Not only is it a simple message to follow (unlike my cryptic, rambling blog posts), but it re-emphasizes that, for all intents and purposes, we are in charge of feeling happy. It's a choice. I think that's amazing because even when we receive dark news, there's almost always a silver lining that's worth focusing on, and I'm proud to say that folks involved in the examples above, all followed suit:
My friends who knew the deceased teammate all shared memories about his positive impact; my buddies accepted the lay-offs without any hard feelings and were looking forward to searching for a new job, or even a new career; and the cancer diagnosis was met with optimism, citing a high survival rate given a particular stage, and embracing the challenge of taking on the disease.
Thanks for reading,