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Focus on what really matters now

POSTED: June 16, 2014 2:00 p.m.
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Family is not an important thing, it's everything. -- Michael J. Fox.

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The world is full of distractions from what really matters in life. Social media, sports, video games, television, fame, excessive work days and other trivial matters can get in the way of husbands and wives, parents and children and friends and families spending time together.

When the time comes for us to leave this life, are we going to wish we had worked longer hours? Spent more time sitting at the computer? Created more projects to busy our lives even further? Not likely. However, we will wish we had spent more time with what, or rather who, matters the most.

Possessions, money and prestige are fleeting

When we all die, which is inevitable, we cannot take "things" with us. Cars, toys, houses, money and other worldly items can and will eventually break, get lost, deteriorate or become forgotten, useless and undesirable. Yet, we somehow manage to spend countless years trying to accumulate more stuff. These things are temporary and unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

Distractions: tools that take us away from what is important

Facebook, crafting, Twitter, Instagram, shopping, sports and other forms of recreation can be good, but used in excess can overrun our lives. If we are missing out on the lives of our children and the simplicity and beauty of life, we may need to adjust our priorities. Countless experiences can be missed due to wasting time on the Internet or doing other endless activities. There is always one more activity, one more hour of work, another status update to read or another television program to watch. Learn to say no, walk away or quit things that take up too much of our precious time.

Focus on family, first

Families need time to work, play, talk and otherwise bond together. In the event of an unexpected death or one that is due to old age, regrets of not spending time together arise. Making every moment count can help ease the guilt while solidifying strong relationships which may continue beyond the grave. Healthy family relationships can build confidence, give strength and create solid bonds of love between members. Memories last. Making happy memories with family is key to living a life full of joy and love.

Friends

Equally important in our lives are friends. Often, close friends can be an extension of family. Time strengthening and building relationships with friends is good, if not necessary for the soul. Friends support each other during difficult times and in ways that sometimes family cannot. Spending time with friends is healthy as long as it does not detract from important family time. Friendships are lasting and rejuvenating. Friends bring laughter, contentment and healing for each other.

Love people

In general, it is our relationships that we have maintained that will bring the most joy and happiness to our lives. While other things are fleeting, people will remember their friends, their family, teachers, or others who have made an impact in their lives. Investing our time in people and doing good in their lives is what matters most. The late Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
In the video clip, the song by DeAnne Flynn depicts that everything is fleeting, it will not last forever, yet, families are forever. We should not be distracted by all the things, accolades or riches of the world, but rather focus on the people in our lives. That's what really matters.

Realizing that people, not things, matter most can help us align our lives accordingly. Though work, shelter and transportation may be necessary, relationships are most important in a more "eternal" perspective. Give up what you want now, for what you want most. Don't regret the priorities you had throughout your life. Commit to focus on the people in your life who really mean the world to you.

Wendy Jessen's email is wendyjessen26@gmail.com.

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