The Wake-Up Call
You know how you fly through life always rushing, always stressed out, always feeling like there are not enough hours in the day? I know I can relate because i’ve alluded to it all week on my social media posts. I am not ready for Christmas, every damn time I turn around something else goes wrong, someone needs me to do something, etc. etc. You get where this is going right? I know a lot of you are in this boat with me.
Yesterday I had a particularly busy day, my own fault but I had my list and just wanted to be done with all my running around. I had 4 stops to make in the morning, I had ordered my groceries online, I had a hair appointment and one last sign to make. Then one of our dogs woke up sick, it was actually coming the night before but I knew a trip to the vet was also in store. Oh and can I just add it was pouring rain all damn day.
So I set out early in the morning, making my stops, knocking things off my list, getting pissed off because stores, at Christmas, don’t have enough staff so the waiting in line is long, the parking lots are a nightmare, the traffic made worse by the rain which in turn was putting me further and further behind schedule when I had so many things to do.
I made it back to my local grocery store and picked up my groceries through their newly set up PC Express. It’s a good idea in theory for busy days, but there is no designated parking, you have to get a cart and go in the store so by the time I did all that it defeated the purpose of why I used this service to begin with. Hopefully they will work the kinks out because although I normally enjoy grocery shopping, this service is great for a busy day or a bad health day, etc. But it was not what I expected it to be when I signed up and not what I’ve heard from other friends the service should have been like.
If you’re still following along thanks, there is a very good point to my story so hang in there.
I raced home with my groceries and got them put away, let the dogs out, raced back out to my hair appointment which is located in a small downtown area that had zero parking anywhere even remotely close to the salon I was attending. Needless to say I ended up parking blocks away and was totally drenched, as was the little gift I was taking to my hairdresser, by the time I got there. Things also didn’t go as planned with my hair color yesterday either but it’s ok, i’m pretty good at rolling with the punches.
By the the time this appointment was over I barely had time to make it back home to pack up the dogs (I say dogs because unless someone is at home, these two travel as a team!) and race off to the vet which is a half hour away on a good day, yesterdays rain and busyness was not condusive to a” quick trip to the vet”. Luckily the staff at ours are so kind and understanding and were able to accommodate us arriving a few minutes late. Our shitzu has another UTI and is on antibiotics, and did I mentioned I was already at the vet Tuesday picking up our senior dogs heart meds to the tune of $160? Merry Christmas pooches, your $300 vet bills this week aren’t getting paid by Santa!
Through all this craziness, when I got home I went into the bedroom to get changed out my wet clothes and while reaching for something I lost my balance, banged into a table, knocked over a candle holder that smashed into a gazillion pieces and when I came back out of the room to get the broom and vacuum the dog had peed on the floor.
So while I was wallowing in anger and anxiety, I missed a phone call from a good friend because I was on the other line with my husband updating him on the dogs and my overall shitty day. When he got home we decided we would pop back out for the three items I hadn’t had time to pick up yesterday so that we could spend the rest of the weekend at home with the hope of relaxing just a little.
To make an extremely long story short, that phone call that I missed? It was from one of my dearest friends calling with the news that another dear friend had passed away yesterday. A friend I worked with for over 20 years, took my lunch and coffee breaks with for most of those years. We had a shared love of reading and we both have a “happy place” up north in the Kawarthas. I literally was stopped dead in my tracks. She was married to the most wonderful man, her children are amazing young adults who were not only extremely close to their mom, they also lost their father a couple of years ago. My friend fought a very aggressive form of breast cancer recently, she even had a mastectomy and came out the other side. She was looking and doing well, even went back to work when she didn’t have to but she loved her job. I get that part, when I got sick, giving up my job was one of the hardest things I did. I was told she got sick just a couple of short weeks ago, not knowing the cancer had spread and yesterday she lost her battle. I didn’t even know she was sick again, I had just sent her an email a few weeks ago with some new books by authors we both love. If only I had of known our “book club” email would be the last I ever sent to her I would have said more.
Last week a very special Aunt of mine passed away unexpectedlty from a heart attack. She wasn’t that long into her retirement, she had moved back to her hometown to be close to her family. She was a mother and a grandmother. I lived with her and my uncle when I first moved to this province from the east coast. They took me in and supported me and helped me and loved me. I will never ever forget her. I wish I had of visited more. Why do we do this? Why do we wait until it’s too late to have these regrets.
The morale of this life altering story is to show us all, especially me, how none of these other things are even important in the grand scheme of things. Who cares if I don’t have those last few christmas gifts bought or they aren’t wrapped perfectly. Who cares that my hair is looking a little purple or picking up my online grocery store order wasn’t as it should have been. Who fucking cares. Why are we so shallow that we put so much hype into everything being perfect and when did we stop enjoying life and instead feeling like we have all these crazy expectations we have to live up to?
I’m making my News Years Resolutions early this year. As if we didn’t already know that life is short, this week i’ve learned it’s also not fair and when we go to bed at night there are no guarantees that we will even wake up in the morning. Live this day like it’s your last. Reach out to those friends or family that you have been too busy to call or text, do all the things you say you’re going to do next week or next month, stop wasting time, it’s truly the most valuable thing we own.
Rest in peace Wendy.