Last night, I was listening to an NPR TED radio hour. The subject was Quiet, living in the moment. Which was fitting for the last day of 2015.
As I was laying in bed, listening to the podcast, it occurred to me that time really is flying by entirely too fast.
In 2002, Matthew was only five months old when Jaysen went out to the field for 45 days. After only a month and a half, Jaysen came home to find an entirely different person. Matthew had changed so much in just a few weeks.
With every subsequent deployment, Matthew was a year older and a year changed. Though the deployments were difficult, I am thankful for the lessons they taught us. They made us tighter as a family. We learned to not take anything for granted.
Before every deployment, I found myself unable to just be in the moment. Jaysen would be wrestling around with Matthew (then a toddler) on the floor and I would think, "This time next week, Jaysen will be gone and Matthew has no idea what is coming." Looking back, I'm kind of envious of Toddler Matthew. He could be happy without the foreboding cloud destroying his happiness.
After every homecoming, we would slowly work our way back to a new normal. That is, until the next deployment.
But the smaller events in life became really important. When Jaysen was gone, I thought about all of the trivial things I got pissed at. None of it really mattered. Looking back at our disagreements, in the grand scheme of things, it didn't matter who was right or who was wrong. Moving forward, we tried to pick our battles more selectively. Because in the end, the small stuff that irritates us doesn't really matter.
I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in November 2015. I don't know what life has in store for me. MS isn't fun. But it's not necessarily a death sentence. But that doesn't mean I'm going to take every day for granted.
I'm not one for making New Year Resolutions. I think if you're going to make a change, just do it. Don't wait until the New Year. Start now.
From this moment on, I'm going to appreciate every day I have. I'm going to appreciate Matthew interrupting my television show to tell me a joke or show me one of his impersonations. I'm going to appreciate Jaysen and everything he does. I'm going to put down my phone when he's talking to me. Also, I'm going to try to live in the moment and stop worrying about what is going to happen later.
We only have this moment. Make it count.