It never occurred to me that LYB's Love Your Life 2017 campaign would start off for me meaning "lucky to be alive." I was going to write this week about my favorite quick and healthy recipes, but something happened on January 6 that was so profoundly life-altering that I realized sometimes the best way to love our lives is to simply sit back and do nothing but reflect on what a true gift it is to be alive each day.
It all started around 1:00 pm, when my children, husband, mother and I sat relaxing for a while before our flight was scheduled to depart from the Ft Lauderdale airport back to Indianapolis. What happened going forward still causes me to start shaking every time I recount the horrifying scene that resulted from a supposed shooter on the loose in the airport. I don't want to drag you through every piece of our three-hour ordeal, but suffice it to say that we, and the thousands of people running loose on the airport tarmac from an unclear threat, weren't sure we would ever make it out. The rumors flew quickly, causing immense pandemonium, and my family and I escaped, separated from one another, by running along train tracks, hiding in the grass for a time, and taking shelter in various random locations (I and two of my children hid in a garage for two hours.) We all finally escaped the ordeal by hitching rides back to our hotel, totally stripped of all belongings and any sense of security we'd had before this.
I sit here writing this with a whole new perspective on what makes life "good." It's not the perfect body, the ideal wardrobe, success in business, or any number of other goals on everyone's New Years resolution list. That sense of total fulfillment that we're really seeking is right in front of us, ours for the taking. It comes from being truly in the moment and in constant awe of the awesome gift that each moment we are alive represents. My 8-year old got it totally yesterday, right at the height of the chaos. He looked at me and said, "Mom, I love life so much. Nothing else that I thought was a big deal matters anymore. I just want to be alive!"
I wish this lesson of just savoring life could have been driven home less painfully, but I am so grateful for the epiphany. I want this to be the year we all focus on loving ourselves and each other, making major progress in all the areas of our lives that matter most to us. However, I hope we can all remember along every step of this journey to step back and soak in the fact that it's a privilege in and of itself to be on the journey at all.