Just watched a piece on Pearl Harbor on Sunday Morning as they interviewed one of the survivors who is now 93. They flashed back to his official military headshot when he enlisted as a young, handsome 18 year-old. It reminded me of the first time I realized that all old people were young once. I also remember the first time when one of my nieces looked at my wedding picture and said, “Oh my gosh, you were so young!” Uh… yeah, thanks?
No, but really. As I watch myself and everyone around me get a little older, it does bring new perspective to life. Guess that’s why they say, with age comes wisdom. Not saying I’m wise yet, but feel like time might eventually take me there. But the great thing about this new perspective is having your own history to look back on, to not only appreciate the miraculous things that happened, but also the little things you noticed and the big things you learned.
No matter who you are, or what has made up your life, there’s a story there. And only you know what it was like to be in it and experience every moment of it. Almost makes you wish you could bottle up everyone’s life story for safekeeping so that we could all learn and share from each other’s unique experience, regardless of whether it was exciting or mundane.
In the end, it’s the everyday things that happen in life where we can learn to see things differently. As we step into the holiday season, it gives us a reason to think about the year that has passed, the people with whom your life has crossed paths and how lucky we are that life has unfolded in the way that it has until this point.
While the state of our world is uncertain, really, what else is new? Uncertainty is really the only certain. With the knowledge we’ve gained from our past, we learn to see things as they are more clearly, which enables us to move forward with more focus and purpose. If something is important to you, we can take small steps in our own lives to work to change it or make it better. If something is terrifying to you, we can also take heart, as your own history has proven, it will eventually shake out and be ok.
So as we celebrate the holidays and reconnect with family and friends we may have not seen for years or even decades, remember the people who touched your life and made a difference. Take time to remember the small moments where you learned something about yourself and life itself, because only you will ever really know what that means to you.
As the first snowfall of the season blankets the earth, I’m just thankful I’m here to see it.
In memory of my mother-in-law, Sally Ann Mutert—1928-2016…