A sucker punch

There’s sometimes a fine line between prudence and irrational anxiety.

Putting aside a year’s salary, just in case, is prudent. Stuffing the actual cash into your mattress because you’re worried all the banks will fail feels irrational.

I’ve lived long enough, and buried enough young friends, to know that the blows you can anticipate don’t often shake you to your core.

It’s the ones you can’t see coming that will leave you gasping and shattered and on your knees.

So, how do we live with such randomness, such uncertainty perched just out of our view?

Some of us anchor our lives in faith, a belief that even when we can’t see the way — especially when we can’t see the way — an outstretched hand will grasp ours to guide us safely home.

Some of us have found true soul-mates, whether a spouse or a best friend, who know us as we truly are, raw and bruised and flawed, and who love us as we are, not as they would have us be.

And, I think more of us could live a life of active gratitude; I know I could.

A heart filled with genuine appreciation for every good thing in our lives — and it couldn’t hurt to take a minute, or an hour, to sit down and make a list — has to be less brittle than one hardened by anger and cynicism and a sense of entitlement.

A heart filled with gratitude overflows with generosity and compassion.

If you have had any substantive part to play in my life, if you have even once made me laugh out loud, or sat with me while I wept, encouraged me, supported me, or done something to make my way easier, to make the life I’ve lived possible…

Thank you!

I wouldn’t be here without you.

I wouldn’t be me without you.

I am certain you know someone who’s dealing with unanticipated loss. A rogue wave has crashed into them, swept them off solid ground, and left them desperate, barely treading the rough waters of life, unable to see the shore and needing a lift up.

Don’t wait. Don’t hope someone else will act.

Reach out. Extend your hand and promise to hold on tight.

And then, don’t let go.

Isn’t this the least we can do?