Today is Valentines Day. More importantly, it is the one year anniversary of one of the best nights of my life.
Last year at this time, I was surrounded by family and close friends to celebrate our engagement. It was an incredible night and it was a complete surprise for us. I’ll never forget it.
The weather today was a lot nicer than last year. Today reminded me of spring. When I was walking Niko I thought about how soon the flowers would bloom and I remembered instances where I would stop and smell the flowers.
There are rose bushes in my parents community and I would always stop to smell them on my way to the car or something. It was something I just did. It’s great to take that time to be able to do that and now I feel as though I am making sure to take that time to appreciate little things.
I appreciate last year’s surprise engagement party. I think about it often. It was amazing to see my friends and family there. Ever since I cut down on the amount of TV I watch, I am able to appreciate other things more. I feel as though I am finally starting to realize what is most important to me.
In one of the books I read I was given an exercise. Basically, envision you are attending a funeral, then I was hit with a curve ball when it stated the funeral was my own.
I took this exercise to heart and wrote down what I would want my family to say. What I want my friends to say. What I’d like my employer, and coworkers to say. Maybe even my clients.
As I wrote down what I hoped they would say about me, it made me realize what the most important things are to me. Ever since then, I have been trying to work to become that man that’s in that coffin. I’m trying to do my best to make sure they say those things about me. Things I want to ‘hear’ from them.
I have a great tight knit group of friends. I think I took it for granted until we played summer league basketball. It was really easy for us to put a team together. Some people struggle to be able to get 6-7 other guys on their team.
We are always there for each other and in a way I think we take it for granted and we shouldn’t. Many people in the world don’t have these relationships. Mainly because they grow apart from their friends. Schedules are overbooked. Nobody has time to meet up. Nobody has time to have a conversation. Nobody has time to stop and smell the roses.
I’m not saying stop and smell your friends.
I’m just saying appreciate them. Life is short. We all have to make time for what is most important. I’m trying to make a habit of committing to things when I’m excited about something. If there is a deposit to be paid, I will pay it immediately. This way, I’ll have to go through on it. I’m too cheap to lose that deposit. Otherwise, I may start to doubt the decision and end up never doing it.
I’m going to be more like this when it comes to my relationship with friends. Oftentimes, I don’t see them as much as I’d like. I make excuses because I’m too lazy to do anything. Or too cheap. What’s more important? The memories I’ll make with my friends or $60-70?
I’ve really been focusing in on my relationship with family too. This is so crucial as I start to get older. Now I have to make time to go to my parents house. I have to make time to message my sister who lives in another country. I have to make time to FaceTime with her. I think I do a pretty good job when it comes to this.
More than ever, I try to talk about important things with my dad. It isn’t just about sports all the time. Same goes for my mom. Although, she would always push for that herself but now I’m more receptive, at least I hope. It took a long time for me to understand how to communicate with my mom and dad. I think I’m finally starting to solve it. I still suck at it at times but I find I’m catching myself more. I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone. If we disagree on something, instead of shutting down, I’m trying to ramp up the conversation.
My sister and I have always had a great relationship but as I mentioned in an earlier post, things are changing. I need to make time to have conversations with her. Especially now that she is about to be a mom and her time will become even more limited. It’s great that she is in the country for the next 6 months. I’ll have to work that much harder when she’s back in Bahrain and a mother. For now, she needs to go on walks, and I need to take Niko out, so as they say, two birds.
Like anyone else, I have cousins I am close to and others that I don’t get along with as much. This is an area I’ve been trying to work on too. Reaching out and speaking to those relatives isn’t always easy. I don’t think I do a good enough job of it. Technology is definitely advanced enough that I can speak to my cousins in Turkey more often but I don’t. I make excuses. I fool myself into thinking I don’t have the time or some other bullshit excuse. As Richard Feyman said “The first principle is you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”. I love quotes. I think that’s a great one.
You may be thinking I didn’t mention Eliz too much in this post but I feel she is the one person that I communicate with the best. I can be so open with her and let her know everything that’s on my mind. She’s probably the reason I have begun to think deeper. Have deeper conversations. It’s my practice with her that is making me better at this type of thing with others. She’s always encouraging me to have the most uncomfortable discussions. I now think this is extremely important in business and in personal life.
What I’m trying to say is, all too often, we let life pass us by without stopping to appreciate the things that may seem small. The things we take for granted. Our family. Our friends. Our relationships at work. We all can do a better job of stopping to smell the flowers.