Be Mindful • Be Present • Be Grateful

I’ve been trying to decide on the best “First Post of the New Year”.  My whole house caught the crazy sick virus the day after Christmas (the one that took down most of Southern California), so all of my BIG plans coming in to 2018 went out the window.  I’m not really a “New Year, New Me” kind of person and I don’t usually make resolutions.  The last two years I’ve made “Hopeful” lists, for the year.  This year I would like to write more.  I started journaling a few things, before we got the plague, like favorite cold weather recipes, my kitchen remodel (finally), etc.

Then, this morning, while reading my morning news[feed], I came across an article that changed my entire morning (possibly my entire year).  A 27 year old woman was dying from a rare form of cancer.  Before she passed she wrote a letter, that her parents posted online after she passed away.

She says, “I’m 27 now.  I don’t want to go.  I love my life.”  I was crying from that sentence, until the very end.

“Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.

“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

“Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.

“I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.

“Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

“Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.

“Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.

“Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

“It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.

“Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

“Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit.

“Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.

“Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.

“Eat the cake. Zero guilt.

“Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?

“Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.

– – – Read her full letter here.

That last one really got me. So much truth in every single word.

Then it got me thinking; with regards to social media.  Why are we so hard on ourselves, our family, even our friends?  We place way too much value on what others think of us!  How many follower we have.  How many likes.  Do I post too much?   We have let social media warp our minds, and sometimes even ruin our days.  We try to portray a perfect life through pictures and in the same breath we find ourselves in envy of other people’s portrayal of their perfect life.  When really we are only seeing a small glimpse of their highlight reel.  Rarely do we see their reality; their behind-the-scenes.  We post cruel posts about politics and differences in opinions.  We don’t actually voice our thoughts with intent for an open-minded discussion, but we share videos or articles that attempt to prove our points.  We post passive aggressive memes or “open letters to (insert topic)” about silly things like MLM businesses and parenting styles, to name a few.  Why do we occupy so much time with typing nonsensical things on social media?  I am guilty, too.  We block ANYONE selling ANYTHING!  Why?  We can’t support a friend, in probably one of the HARDEST markets!  I get it, you’re swimming in a sea of health advocates, and you’re up to your neck with essential oil offers, then scroll past.  It takes far less time to swipe up than it does to type a hurtful post about YOUR time being so much more valuable then theirs. DREADFUL, your mommy friend posted yet another picture of her babies or you’ve been added to another FB group; there couldn’t possibly be ANYTHING worse in the world.

Be mindful.

Then there are the posts from the people (mine are mostly mom friends) who are “SO busy!  Please forgive me for not having time for you!” – However, you had time to find a blog post, that related to the point you were trying to make, post it on Facebook, and throw in an explanatory description.  But you can’t find 30 seconds to text a friend, or family member, back to say “Hi, I’m so sorry, I’ve been crazy.  Hope to catch up soon.” ?  That Facebook post was a better fit?  We can do better than that .

Be present.

It takes one minute, usually less, to do the right thing; to send a text that might change someone’s day.  Compliment a stranger’s outfit, it could be the only nice thing that they have ever heard about themselves.  Sometimes life seems unfair, trust me, I know.  Joanna Gaines just posted her FIFTH baby announcement, and her sister just had her sixth! REALLY?  Do you need all of those kids.  Lol. 😜 But, sometimes it’s just our outlook.  I have a home, a healthy son, a loving husband.  I am blessed beyond measure.  And, I’m guessing if you are reading this, it is most likely from a smartphone, or a laptop.  It could be worse.

Be grateful.

So there it is, my 2018 resolutions, wrapped up in a letter written by a woman I have never met.  I wish I could thank her for her words. Rest in Paradise. I will try my best.

Lastly, post that picture.  If it’s important to you, it’s important to me.  You’ll always get a like from me.  (we’ll almost always.. there’s that “10 picture in one post” feature; you should use that) 😉

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