This week was a bit of an emotional one that reminded me of a few sentiments that were shared with me by one of my closest friends, “Health, Happiness, Friends & Family.”
A couple of years ago I was 33, single, with plenty of friends, an awesome family and a busy career. My main focus was on the latter, I was in a role where I never felt like I could quite catch up and get ahead of things but still I was desperately trying to do so. One morning after weeks of attempting to match up our schedules I met one of my best friends, Andrea, for coffee. Being in the same industry, I knew she would understand what I was going through. I launched into anxiously unloading about this and that, all related to my job, when she somewhat uncharacteristically interrupted me. She’s always put my Type A work ethic to shame, so I wasn’t expecting her to disagree with my focus. She simply reminded me to take a step back and remember that health, happiness, friends & family are really all that matters in life (and suggested maybe I get myself on a few dates). As hard as it is to remember that at times, it is even easier to forget.
Walking away with a refreshed perspective and those sentiments top of mind, I decided I would continue to put in my best effort 9-5 but refocus on my personal life outside of those hours. That very evening I launched one of my dating apps and matched with a cute guy who happened to be friends with Andrea and her husband. I went out with that cute guy a few days later and I’m still a bit surprised myself to say that he is now my fiancé. I will never, ever forget our conversation and how a re-channeled focus led me down a path in life I wasn’t even paying much attention to because I was so focused on work. Granted I don’t think things usually line up that quickly, but I’m thankful for that timing nonetheless.
Fast-forward to today, I am still working at the same company yet over the past 4 1/2 months we have been purchased. For many of us that will mean new jobs, for others it will mean deciding to leave the company and for others still it will mean being asked to leave. The unknown of it all has been quite a burden to bear, and I will admit I have not done the most fantastic job of handling that unknown. I do want to stay on board, and not knowing whether or not that will be possible has been a major focus and a catalyst of anxiety for me. Like many others, I have had to constantly coach myself through the ups and downs of my emotions the past few months despite being in an exciting, fun & loving time in my life. Then last week everything came swirling back to the reminder that the most important in life are “Health, Happiness, Friends & Family”.
My father let me know he has a medical issue that may or may not require surgery to his spine. My sister was in and out of the hospital and back again with a double kidney infection, which finally subsided after threatening to go septic. And my sister-in-law Rachel, who I have mentioned a few times on this blog, had been admitted to the hospital for what they thought was food poisoning on Monday. However, while she was going through further testing at the hospital yesterday, they sent her to the ER after finding bleeding in her brain. At 27 years old, what on the surface looked like food poisoning had actually been a severe stroke. She remains at the hospital at risk for a second stroke as they determine necessary steps to remove the clot. Without going into further detail, other complications have come to the surface, and she will face a road of rehab and recovery none of us would have ever imagined. We are of course wishing the best for her as she goes through treatment for the unforeseeable future.
Many of us have had similar health scares ourselves, known a friend or family member severely affected by illness or we’ve tragically lost someone we love. Whatever the circumstance, it is certainly a solid reminder of those fundamental life pillars, “Health, Happiness, Friends & Family.” Sure, I still want to keep my job. I firmly believe that with some motivation and persistence, if you happen to be re-routed in life you can happily move forward on that path, even if it’s not the one you expected. But maybe it’s less important to focus on that outcome and more important to pay attention to the people that surround me.
It’s rumored that the deciding day will come in the next week. Instead of letting that looming decision sweep over my happiness, I decided to throw some champagne in the fridge. Either way, when the road ahead of me is outlined as it relates to my career, I will be opening the bubbles. I will celebrate the path before me, give my fiancé an extra big hug, remind my friends & family how much I love and appreciate them and toast to Rachel’s recovery. I will absolutely be embracing each of those sentiments more tightly in my life and try to remember more regularly that those are the things I am most thankful for each day.