Out of the Box: Appreciating the chaos

By Camille Nesler

So many times in life we tend to take the good things for granted. Our
family, children, friends, home…the list goes on and on. Certain
people become so much a part of us that we think they’ll always be
there when we need them. We don’t ever stop to think, “What would
happen if I lost all of this?”
We only think of what we had when it’s gone…and then it’s too late.
The truth is, we should never take anything for granted. Not a single
person and not a single day. Yes, everyone knows this. But sometimes,
we’re reminded in ways we’d rather not be.
At this time of year most of us are naturally thinking about all the
excitement of the holiday season; Santa Claus and his reindeer, gifts
for family and friends, decorating the tree, holiday dinners, office
parties and church activities.
But while most of us are celebrating this festive season, some
families out there will be struggling with loss.
Consider yourself blessed if you’re not one of those.
All of us are guilty of getting caught up in the daily grind of, well,
LIFE in general. My mom used to say “stop and smell the roses” but it
took me a long time to grasp the full extent of what she was saying.
After all, my days are pretty hectic. As soon as I get off work,
everyone is clamoring for my time and attention. Kids are demanding to
know what’s for dinner, asking for help with homework projects and
arguing with each other over various toys, games and television
programs. Two seconds after I walk through the door, some neighborhood
child will be ringing the doorbell wanting to play or visit or sell me
some sort of fundraising item. The phone will be ringing, the hamsters
will be banging their food dishes or rattling their exercise wheel and
I’ll have ten different projects I need to work on before the night is
over. Most weeks you can also throw in girl-scout meetings, football
games, and church activities. Since it’s the holidays, you can also
add practices for the Christmas play and holiday shopping to the list.
It’s total chaos. But it’s MY chaos and I’m grateful for it. I think
of all the people out there who would give anything to have just one
more night of chaos with the loved ones they’ve lost … and while I
sometimes do get stressed and tired, thinking, “I never have any time
to myself” I turn right around in the next breath and thank God that I
DON’T actually have the “time to myself.”
The song “Live like you were dying” was written by songwriter Tim
Nichols and made famous a few years ago by Tim McGraw. It’s about a
fellow who finds out he only has a short time to live and all the
things he did with that time. The song speaks of the wisdom we would
gain if we would truly realize that life is very precious and very
It’s one thing to sing those words but it’s far better to live by them.
The new year will be here shortly, so how about we all take the time
to appreciate the blessings in our lives, from the smallest and most
insignificant things to the very largest.
May we all “love deeper, speak sweeter” and “give the forgiveness
we’ve been denying,” realizing that the most important thing in this
world is about enjoying family — and life — while we still can.