Seems like a silly question really? But it becomes like breathing, doesn’t it? We don’t even need to worry about that. We can take breathing for granted for the most part. Our bodies have taken over that function so we don’t even have to shed the tiniest thought about remembering to breathe. Our bodies have taken this mundane task out of the realm of our conscious. But should it?
I think this topic actually resonates throughout our entire being and existence. We get going. We chug along in our daily life doing the things on our calendar. We check off tasks and create new ones to take their place.
And then something happens that shocks us out of our regularly scheduled life. For me, it was the unfortunate and untimely death of Robin Williams.
I was going about my day and if I am truly honest a good portion of it on a kind of auto-pilot mode. And then something happened – something unexpected.
A person that I didn’t think about regularly was all of a sudden gone. And I felt a great loss. I am sad that the world is losing his talent. I am sad at the thought that the joy and laughter I enjoyed from his work is now finite and limited to the works he has completed. I am sad that there will be no more incredible projects from him.
I am also sad for his family. This loss is tough for those who really enjoyed his work and I can only imagine the magnification of loss for his family.
But what really makes me sad is that he seemingly was sad. So sad and we never saw it. Now I don’t want this to be a diatribe on depression or suicide. There are more appropriate venues for that and I am certainly not an authority on either of those subjects. But I do want to call attention to how quickly things can change.
This unfortunate time, when I will someday look back and probably mention to someone how I remember hearing about his passing, is a wake-up call. It is a message to knock me out of taking things for granted. It is an essential reminder that life is about NOW. I want to turn the volume to 150% and see all the sounds and colors and beauty around me… NOW. I want to cherish the people in my life NOW… today.
I guess the “industry term” is to live in the present. But how quickly we can forget to do this. And how quickly we take things for granted, how easily we slip into auto-pilot. Truly all we have is this moment.
I will process my own sense of sadness and loss and will remember fondly all the talent I did get to see. I know a smile wins out every time I think about one of his characters, or a topic from his stand up. That is a beautiful legacy he left the world.
And what I want to remember most is to stop… and breathe. Because things could change so quickly, so unexpectedly.
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