Sunday, December 26, 2010

What's important in life

It’s been a busy week here. It probably was for all of you too. I hope the time has been spent in preparation and celebration. I know all too well that cancer doesn’t take a holiday. There are some who will spend at least a portion of this joyous time fighting the fight. There are some who will continue to struggle with pain and discomfort, with nausea and other assorted side effects (like I did last Christmas). But I had no room for despair this holiday season. I live to spend it with my friends and family, living it to the fullest. I was lucky enough to reconnect with some old friends (Nora & Michelle), enjoying a lovely dinner at the Fiesta Cafe earlier in the week. After a quiet Christmas Eve at home with Hannah, Mike and Bert, we headed north on Christmas Day to spend it with the extended family in Streator. We swung through Pontiac to pick up Mom on the way through. Unfortunately, not everyone made it because of the weather (we have a 4-wheel drive so we often go places others fear to tread!) The day was filed with lots of food, stories and laughter. As we headed back to Pontiac to drop Mom off, we stopped in for a quick visit with my Dad and Stepmother, whom we hadn't seen in a while.
You see, when your mortality is staring you in the face, you realize what's important. It's not your job title, your bank account or your things - it's the people in your life. And the people who make a real difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.
I found this story out on the Internet and wanted to share it:

What's important in Life
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2" in diameter.

He then asked the students if the jar was full?
They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous --yes.

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour their entire contents into the jar -- effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children--things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff."

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued "there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the rocks first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.

The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."

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