When I looked at the headline of last week’s poll, “How well has life treated you so far in 2021?”, I looked back on a year filled with back-to-back family deaths, minor tragedies, health issues, and major travel changes (think six months of reservations canceled within minutes).
My second thought was, “How have I treated life in 2021?” If COVID has taught me anything more than how to mask up, stand on a socially-distanced dot and stay six feet away from people, it has been how I should treat life.
This new-to-me awareness really started in 2020 when I stayed glued to the COVID news and numbers. Entire families were succumbing to the virus. A simple birthday celebration could result in devastation. My heart went out to the families of those struck down. I was deeply touched and troubled by the elderly couples that died together holding hands in their hospital beds, struck down by a disease we did not yet know how to stop.
I realized I had started to take life for granted – my life, my husband’s, children’s and friends’. We were living our dream as full-time RVers and I just assumed it would be forever … or at least a very long time. The threat of COVID brought mortality into focus. As old essential workers, there was a chance we simply would not make it through, precautions or not. Flippantly saying “Life is fleeting” is different than knowing it.
So the question remains, “How have I treated life in 2021?” Have I been grateful? Was I connected to my children and grandchildren? Have I given to those things I believe in? Did I walk the trails in our beloved National Parks? Could I sit by a roaring campfire and talk with everyone that walked by? Yes.
Have I treated life with the respect it deserves? I can only hope so.