I lost a former colleague last week. We weren’t close friends, but we’d had lunch on multiple occasions, during one of which I specifically remember her “talking me off the ledge” on some frustrations I was going through at the time at work. She was a sharp, savvy female executive, the kind no company ever has enough of, well liked and highly respected. She went to bed not feeling well and never woke up. She was 46, exactly my age.
These are the kinds of life events that get you reflecting, a reminder that one day everything is normal, but then suddenly, without warning, everything can change. We are reminded that none of us know what tomorrow will bring, how long we have. We may briefly reflect on how we’re holding up against our priorities, whether we’re living our lives the way we should be. But then too often, we allow the gravitational pull of our daily grind to drag us back to being in a hurry, losing track of who and what really matters, of crowding out the important with the urgent.
Last week’s loss once again caused me to pause from the busyness of my life and think: what if? What if I knew my time was nearly up? Would I do anything differently, and if so, what? I don’t yet have an answer, but I’m still asking myself the question. Just asking the question may be enough, enough to honor the memory of my friend. Rest in peace Rachel, you made a difference.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” –Steve Jobs