It has only been 3 weeks since we returned from New York, yet in some ways it already feels like it has been a lifetime. Life doesn’t stop so you can sort things out. And it certainly doesn’t stop long enough for you to grieve.

It has only been 3 weeks and there have already been musical performances, church services, overnight guests, and Walking Dead Watch Party potluck dinners. Henry has mastered crawling and moved right along to pulling himself up and trying to climb the baby gates and coffee table. Cadence is losing teeth almost as quickly as Henry is growing them, and she has graduated up another level at swim lessons and is counting the days ’til Spring soccer league starts. Stevie is back in full swing at work and keeping in close touch with his siblings as they close out the last of Richie’s estate. And I have already started interviewing and exploring options to see where this next phase of my career is going to take me.

So much for having a moment to stop and recoup and breathe.

But if all this is teaching us anything, it’s that life is both full and fleeting, and that the most important thing you can do is to hold tightly to the people you love while they’re still right there with you. It’s teaching us to appreciate the time you have, even the difficult times, because it all passes.

Nothing lasts forever.

So, you grab onto the good things, and let the bad things go. We all reach the finish line eventually, and it’s not when or how you finish that matters–not really–instead, it’s the time you spent and the choices you made along the way that add up to something in the end.

So reach out. Smile more. Take time to listen, really listen. Say you’re sorry. Tell someone you love them. Hug tightly. Take a chance. Face a fear. Get your hands dirty. Ask for help. Linger outside, close your eyes, and feel the sun on your face. Blast a favorite song and sing along, loudly. Laugh more. Worry less. Admit when you’re wrong. Own your mistakes. Take a step outside your comfort zone, and then take another. And when you think you’ve done your best, look for ways to do better, because what’s the point of being here otherwise?

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