Friday, January 7, 2011

Discovering what really matters

I'm a sucker for this season of resolution making.
I love the idea of taking stock and deciding to make changes for the better.
Notice I said I love the idea of it. While I usually make upwards of 10 resolutions each January, not too many of them stick. I've yet to successfully stay on top of the laundry, watch the 100 greatest films of all time or grow the kind of fingernails appropriate for an adult woman. But seemingly each January I resolve anew to try to do just that.
I think my family may most be rooting for me to stick to my goal of cooking dinner at least twice a week. On second thought, since they've actually eaten my cooking, perhaps they're rooting for that one to fall by the wayside first.
So I flew though Jim Moret's "The Last Day of My Life."
Moret, a journalist who had spent years with CNN, found himself on the wrong end of the housing bubble, feeling his family would be better off financially without him. In a Jimmy-Stewart-"It's-a-Wonderful-Life" sort of moment he wonders what he would do with the last day of his life.
Moret takes stock of those things in his life he truly values, constantly questioning his past actions, but still looking forward.
I confess I wasn't that drawn to his personal story. I was however intrigued by the questions those events raised.
After recounting issues surrounding his relationship with his mother, he writes: "In thinking about my mom's struggle to survive, I began to examine those things in my life that were worth fighting for. Then I began to wonder what I could accomplish if I continued to fight instead of just giving up?
How would your life be different if you replaced the words, "I can't" with an attitude of doggedness and determination?"
How different, indeed.
These were the reflections that I took to heart on everything from love to forgiveness to family.
Perhaps I can't relate to Moret's Beverly Hills lifestyle, but I did understand his quest to discover what truly mattered to him.
Ask yourself, If today was your last day, how would you spend it?
-Tricia Ambrose



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