As a little child what was important to me as I can remember was … not getting a beating, my daddy not coming home drunk and my mother and father not fighting. This was an important thing for me. As I got a little older (11-13 years old) the things that were important to me were the same things as a little kid but now there were even more things to add to the list. It was important to bring home good marks from school and for my teachers and neighbors to tell my mother what a “nice kid”, “a good boy” I was. It was also important to me if my few friends I had were, going to play with me without making fun of me (because of my weight). Then there was puberty, the teen years, and a completely new group of things that were important to me. Still holding on to all the things that were important to me in the earlier years (although in all due respect my dad had stop drinking, by now, only with an “occasional backslide”) there were additional important things. Girls, my future, career, car payments, a job and college.
Many things happened to me in my twenties and the things that were important to me were interesting. Oh some great things happened to me in my twenties (some of which how great they were I really did not get at that moment). I got married, I became a daddy, I was successful in business, and I bought a house, cars, and things.
Things! I think that is what was becoming more important to me … things. I was the first in the neighborhood to have a “radar oven” a VCR (as big as a TV almost) Sound 8mm movie cameras and projectors and screen, phone in the car, taking vacations. These were important things to me. Working long ours, making money and not being poor were important to me. I was poor as a child and I did not want to be poor as an adult or for my child to want for anything. I remember as a child if I wanted something (and I was an only child), we would have to save forever before I would get it. I did not want this for my son or for my family. It was important to me that if the three of us wanted it we got it before the end of the sentence came out of our mouth.
All these things, that were important to me, came with a price! First, it was an opportunity for me to feed my disease (literally feed it). I had unlimited money and resources. Working so hard and such long hours allowed me not to take the time to take care of myself. The other big price I paid was that, trying to take care of my family so hard, I lost out, on my family so much!
Working so much took time away from them but even more not taking care of myself took its toll on my body and health and in the end robbed my family of me. Slowly I could not or would not be part of their lives on many levels. I tried in many ways to be there but it was not the same.
It amazes me even now as I write about the “then me” how I have changed. I do not know the day or time it happened but I do know now that now in my fifties “things” are so not important to me anymore.
What is important to me, now? People are important! My wife, my son, his family, oh yes my grandson, oh how I adore that little guy! He brings me such joy, and he loves to tease me and I love every minute of it.
The truth is I never got the joy from my “Radar Oven” or VCR that I got from being in a swimming pool this weekend with my grandson. Experiences are important to me.
I find now that the things that are more important to me now are less the things that I can buy but rather the gifts of life itself.
My family and friends are important to me. They are gifts of life. The opportunity to take care of myself is important to me, this is a gift of life (my chance again).
If along my way in my journey I can touch someone else, help someone else, educate someone else about my struggle (our struggle) then this is a gift of life and important to me too.
Yet if it is meant to be for me to spend the next 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, or 25 years being a good husband, father, father-in-law, GRANDPA, brother-in-law, nephew, cousin, uncle, friend then that is great for me!
It is more important to be a good person, to be a loving person, to be a happy person
rather than to have a billion things!
Hey, my friends have a great day, think of what is important to you …