Every year about his time—on the heels of Thanksgiving and as Christmastime nears—I am filled with a desire to express my heartfelt thanks and best wishes to ALIVE readers everywhere. In trying to come up with how best to express my feelings, I kept coming back to the words I used in my 2006 message. If you would indulge me the privilege of paraphrasing, I repeat them here:
Would I be correct in guessing that you don’t have much time to read this? As the final days of 2013 draw near, many of us, despite our best intentions, get caught up in a whirlwind of frenetic activity. We take all of our regular obligations and then pile on a good measure of “holiday-related chores.”
As our staff prepares each issue of ALIVE, we ask ourselves, what can we include this month that will be different? This month, I’d like to try something unusual. I’d like to ask you to make a promise. In fact, I’d like to ask that you make several promises.
First, promise that you will take some time for yourself, between this moment and December 25th –at least two hours (yes, it must be all at once)—and do something just for yourself. Schedule that time in your calendar immediately. Pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read. Take a drive to someplace you’ve never been. Whatever it is that you do, the focus must be on you.
Understand that you are important. The fact that that you are here, at this moment in time, matters. In terms of others, you may never realize or even know just how many lives your life will impact. The point is, your life does and will impact the lives of others. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s being considerate. Sometimes, when we speak about the immeasurable value and potential of each individual, we forget to include ourselves.
Promise number two: Think about someone that you appreciate and then stop whatever you are doing this moment and tell them. Do it face-to-face if possible, or call them. (And by the way, it’s important that you actually speak your words, so no email or texting allowed for this promise.)
Last but not least, promise that you will strive to live, and love, each day as if it were your last. Please, make every moment count… because every moment does!
As I think back over this past year, I am so very grateful for so many blessings in my own life. I am blessed by being married, for the past 37 years, to a most special, beautiful woman, and by having a wonderful son who amazes me every day with his creativity, intelligence and humor. I have the privilege of working with some of the most talented, good-natured people that you could ever hope to meet, and although I may not know you personally, without you there would be on ALIVE, so I count you as one of my blessings, too. I appreciate you.
My hope is that you make these promises and take them seriously. My heartfelt wish for you is that during this special time of year, and throughout the year to come, you too will be and feel blessed in more ways than you can imagine.