First Lesson: Enough

10348274_10152171226492406_4622664639535940015_nThe word I chose for the year is Enough.

Enough has a lot of meanings:

Do I have enough?

Am I enough?

Do I have enough time?

The answers to those questions are Yes, Yes and No. There is never enough time for the life that you want.

The long holiday weekend gave me a hard kick as a reminder of the different meanings of the word enough.

A week ago, my husband and I visited with my brother who was in the hospital, mostly due to complications from a long-term illness. He was in good spirits and nearly his usual self. He was, however, very blunt.

He wanted to let us know that he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer.

This is not a truth I wanted to face though I understand that all life comes to an end.

We visited for a little while before heading out for our other plans. My intention was to visit him on the weekend.

He got out of the hospital the next day and seemed to be feeling better. I guess he was for a couple of days at least.

On New Year’s Eve, we got a call around 9:00 that he was being taken to the hospital and that it didn’t look good.

Not news I wanted to hear.

My husband drove and, as usual, faster than he was supposed to but we didn’t make it. The hospital staff rushed us back to the room where what family was with him, stood around crying. My brother was gone.

I could barely believe it. He was gone most likely when we got the phone call. It didn’t matter how fast we got there.

I’ve been lucky in my life and have lost few people. This one is going to be hard though not completely unexpected. As I wrote his obituary tonight, I realize just how lucky I am that my family has experienced few losses like this.

In looking for the meaning and messages this event has presented in my life, I am thinking about the word I’ve chosen for the year and how the lessons have begun very early.

I think one of the lessons for me is that time is something that is fleeting, and there will never be enough. I’m reminded that tomorrow isn’t promised to us. I never expected to spend New Year’s Eve in a hospital emergency room, though I did. We never know what the next moment will bring.

All we have is now.

Use it wisely.

Friday Five: Lessons Learned While Building

 If you look around, lessons can be learned in everything. No matter how old you get, there is always something to be learned.

My husband and I are building a place or me to write and it’s been an interesting experience. I’ve learned a lot about actually building and as I thought about it, life.

Here are some lessons:

1. Gather everything you need for before you begin – It took us two trips to the home improvement store to get the needed supplies.
2. Having a second pair of hands makes the work go faster – At times I didn’t know if I was holding up the process, or actually helping but we got a lot done. Not to mention, having an extra person for holding and fetching.
3. Have a plan – this probably goes along with number one. The better the plan, the fewer mistakes. As I am thinking about upcoming projects, having a plan also makes things more efficient.
4. Communication is key – My husband and I work pretty well together, but we still needed to have some clear understanding. Of course, it saves on arguments and hurt feelings.
5. Measure twice, cut once – I’m not sure where this adage comes from, but it is most definitely a good idea.

One thing I am finding very interesting is that lessons come in the most unexpected places and, perhaps, not necessarily welcome. I believe that lessons come when we need them most and can often be painful. However, these are the ones that stick with you the most.

What were some of your most unexpected lessons learned?