In the Now

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Life moves at a fast pace. It's not easy to slow down and be thankful for what one has, especially when that something is a puddle of spilled milk under the dining room table or a car that is stuck on the side of the freeway.

But I want to be thankful even for those things. I don't want to be a person that looks back at these days and calls them the "good ol' days" as if I missed out enjoying them to the max now. I want to be that person that gets it; that today is amazing and beautiful.

You see, I lost a good friend this year. She was in her early 30s, full of life and died suddenly in a cycling accident. She was one of those people that you couldn't exaggerate how happy and loving she was. She was just that amazing. And all of us who were lucky enough to know her now share stories with each other talking about how her life impacted us, how she inspired us. We wish we could tell her to her face, though. We wish we didn't have to do it now -- now that she is gone.

And her passing made me realize, again, just how much I want to be that person that gets it. I want to tell those around me how much I appreciate them while I have the chance - not tell others about it at a funeral. I want to laugh as I work in my failing garden and be thankful that I have so many loads of laundry to fold - so many people in my life to clothe and dress.

I want to get it. And I don't want it to be in hindsight.


So as I dig another Lego head out of the pile of dirt, food and leaves that have made their way into my kitchen, I smile. Today, I have children who build Legos and do cartwheels off my couch. Today. And I'm going to make sure I live in this moment.

With a Perspective, this is Jessica Smits.

Jessica Smits is a registered nurse living in the South Bay with her family. Her friend, Jackie Price Dunn, died in June of injuries sustained in a San Diego bicycle race.