On Taking a Breath

I hope life is settling down for you after all the excitement of the holidays. Ours were lively and lovely even though my husband was struck down by the flu.

Yesterday I received a wonderful email filled with memories from a man who, as a child, enjoyed our 100 plus year-old river rock cabin near Big Bear. It had been owned by his grandparents during the 1940’s and 50’s.  The email was delicious with recollectionsFriess_kids_well of long ago badminton competitions, soft ball games with the ball landing far across the lawn in the Santa Ana River, and best of all, the fresh cider from the ancient apple press.  He asked after the press; did it still exist? It does.  My brain leaped to a favorite old photo of my three kids at that very press, my youngest who might have been six, with an apple on top of his head!  In fact the photo was my Christmas card that year; a sweet memory for me.

My memories overlaid upon his, and got me to thinking about a book I am reading, The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, which is getting a lot of buzz. In the biography, the author-son, is describing the last months with his mother: their bookish talks as she endures chemo, and he tries to discover what prompted her many  big life decisions.  I have been interested in the the characters in this true story seeming in such a hurry.  They are always rushing here and there, overloaded with too many things to do. As I reflect on the New Year’s advice and resolutions landing in my inbox, I wonder if the best thing some of us could do is simply to slow down and take a breath.  It may be that in order to live life truly, we need to celebrate each day completely, and work to eliminate the rushing about or at least to appreciate what we are rushing to do, visit or accomplish.

Happy New Year.

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Donna’s new book, Cherish the Light, is one of top 12 picks for 2014 by Spirited Woman and is available from Amazon.com andTop 12_Friess Donna’s web site.

Donna Friess
Author and psychologist Donna L. Friess, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in Communications Studies at Cypress College in Orange County, CA. Donna has been a social activist for children’s rights. She facilitates a “Loss of a Loved One” support group and is an active professional speaker.
Donna Friess

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