“Wouldn’t it be a shame if you were having a
wonderful life and didn’t notice?”
I love this quote by Michael Neill. While we are all quite sure we know exactly what kind of life we are living, what if we had completely the wrong perception of where we were at? What if, as Michael Neill asks, we were really having a wonderful life, and we didn’t notice?
Sounds bizarre? Well, perhaps it’s not as bizarre as we first think. How many times have I looked back on an event that seemed pretty un-wonderful, only to realise that it was one of the highlights of my life?
Six years ago my father died. He had a stroke the first Friday we were back in South Africa visiting. He spent two weeks in a coma, and passed away two weeks later. I still miss him – he was the best father I could ever have wished for.
He was an astute businessman who always shared his wisdom with me and with others. He taught me how to ‘hold on with your knees’ as I rode horses, to write cheques, how to talk to customers and order stock when I was about 8 years old. I remember moonlight walks with him through knee-high pastures, listening to the cows chewing the cud.
Was he perfect? Probably not, but to me he was perfect as a Dad! His dying was very sad for me, and yet it was also a beautiful time.
One of my dreams was to speak on stage with one or more of my children.
Before the funeral we were discussing who was going to talk about Grandad. Our littlest daughter who was 7 at the time, said she would like to say something. She remembered how Grandad always used to get the most money in his Christmas Pudding. He even had a giant silver dollar which used to fall from his mouth miraculously when he took his third or fourth spoonful of dessert! This was along with an avalanche of coins, a feigned cracked tooth and lots of noise!
Each year it was a delight to see the eyes of the younger children getting wider and wider as this happened, and then seeing them frantically scratching through their own dessert to find a few coins!
So Sylvia wanted to tell everyone at the funeral about Grandad and his Christmas money. There we were, Sylvia and I, with two of my brothers, sharing our stories of my father. One of my dreams came true that day. One of the highlights of my life is the memory of us talking together on stage to over 450 people right there in the Treverton Chapel in Mooi River, South Africa.
One of the saddest events of my life was also one of my proudest, happiest moments. If I had only focused on the misery of the moment, then I may have missed this highlight. Instead, I see it as part of the tapestry of life, with highlights and low times woven in. We can choose what parts we want to remember and which parts we want to hold onto.
What if…. what if…. your life really was wonderful, and you missed it?
What if … because you kept thinking of everything wrong in your life…. you missed the highlights?
Everyday is Chooseday – you can choose how you want to view every single day of the rest of your life.
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