Hug ‘Em While Ye May
Last night, a good friend’s 19 year old cat died. He’d lived a wonderful, long life filled with adoration and love, so it’s hard to be sad for him. He was just moving on. But I’m terribly sad for my friend. He was her only companion. His sister had died a couple of years before and his person is single. I worry for this friend. Like me, she struggles with depression. Lucky me, mine is controlled very easily with diet and exercise. Hers is a bit more intractable. Her grumpy old curmudgeon of a cat gave her purpose and kept her focused. Her friends will try to take over some of that while she moves through the grieving process.
I didn’t tell this story, though, to bring anyone down. My point was this: The only guarantee any of us gets in this life is that none of us gets out of it alive.
Pause and look around at the other living beings sharing your life. Spouse, children, pets, friends. They’re here today. Tomorrow, one of more of them may not be. So if you have a few seconds, consider dishing out a round of hugs. If you have a few minutes, offer up a few words of appreciation – even something as simple as ‘I was so lucky the day I found you (or you found me – or however that happened)’. Your blood pressure will drop. Your happiness will rise and your levels of stress hormones will decrease. Sure, the car may break down tomorrow or a bill you thought you’d paid will come with a late notice attached to it. But for today, if only briefly, act on the love you bear for those who share your life and home. You’ll all be better off for it.