I woke up this morning, groggy but still high from having passed my first of five practice tests last night (golf claps for me). I got to work early enough to print out the missed questions, guzzled loads of coffee to fuel my mania, and pushed my way through correcting three (count 'em 3!) reports from my intern. Procrastination? Not today, my friend.
Then, at about 1030am, Larry called to tell me that Leonard, a mutal friend and collegue (and former supervisor of mine) died of a massive heart attack last night. He was only a couple years older than me, about 33, which is even more crazy. In his short career as a psychologist, he made full-time faculty at our alma mater in the matter of one year, and was, from what I understand, was idolized by his students, which doesn't surprise me because he was literally amazing. He was one of the brightest, FUNNIEST, most genuine individuals I knew, and he was a huge support to me, professionally and personally when he was my supervisor, and during some rough times, like my own father's death. This is a shock, to say the least, and I am not even really sure how to process it just yet. As Larry said, "The world was just better with him in it." The loss is profound to anyone who knew him, in any capacity, and I feel lucky that to me, he was a friend. I am just really sad.
With the anniverary of my dad's death just a few days ago, this all just reinforces the idea of living your best life. I myself have been making changes regarding letting go of my perceived control over things, people, and really just life, and not letting it consume me. Sure, I have moments of relapse, but I am trying, and that's what counts. The point is (yes, I have one) is that we all have a choice in how we live our lives, how we treat ourselves and treat each other, who we love and who we let go. We may not think it, because we let ourselves get so consumed with all the "Shoulds" of life, but seriously, no matter what the situation (unless it involves a gun and a robber and your head) we all have a choice about how we live, and today, like everyday I wake up, I make a choice to live the best life I know how. I make a choice to take advantage of things I once said "I can't right now" to. I make a choice in saying, "I will not make myself crazy doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." I make a choice in surrounding myself with people that are not toxic, and that support my in their own ways. I make a choice to fill my lungs with air rather than smoke. I make a choice to feed my body, instead of starve it.
I don't always expect things to be perfect, expect me to be or act perfect, or expect that I will never feel bad, sad, angry or resentful. Because I do, and I have a lot of people that will claim witness. But I make a choice not to let those things rule me, and by that I live my best life. Becuase I, like Leonard, want to leave this world a better place.