The intensity of the past few days has been incredible. From the tragedy on Friday which I will not discuss here in this blog to the final, sweet rest of a dear cousin who had suffered far too long, to the sudden and unbelievable death of the mother of a dear friend and colleague.

These things come seemingly out of nowhere. One moment we are smiling with sunshine and the next we are pensive and pondering in the gloom. A rainy, gray weekend is the perfect backdrop for unbelievable events. For moments come and gone so fast that we can’t quite believe it all happened.

I begin my week with a funeral. My mind has not caught up to the rapid happenings. A week ago, this lovely soul graced the cover of the Detroit Free Press’ food section; a week later, she’s gone. 

How does that happen? We cannot even begin to make sense of so much around us and yet we try.

How much better would we be if we trained our focus on savoring the moments, appreciating every interaction, so that if it turned out to be the last, we wouldn’t have regret? So easy to say in the wake of tragedies; so hard to do in the rapid flow of everyday life.

A week is spinning before me with appointments and plans, to-dos to check off and the challenge of finding the moments in between to actually live.

I am looking to the year ahead to be my time for transformation. Here is what it looks like for me:

* My time spent on living, rather than doing. Fill in the blanks with the required stuff; the big capsules of time get the good stuff.

* Cherishing relationships. Rather than saying I can’t figure out how to schedule a date with each of my children, just doing it. Making the rest of life revolve around that.

* Writing time each and every morning. My novel and bread book await – moments away from being released. If I can get my act together to do the final revisions. Why would I be my own obstacle?

* Slowing down. The journey, not the destination. The fresh air, camping, tree-hugging, trail-walking, lake-gazing. Not yearning for breaks.

It is to be the year of slowing down and ever more, focusing on work that matters, that brings meaning to the world and elevates us all. Hugs to all of you today. We need it.

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