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The Importance of Living in the “Now”

Today I sat down to write a post on miles and points, credit cards, blah blah blah. After all, isn’t it why most people come to this blog? But I just can’t today. If you want a factual, information-only site, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place. Some posts will be emotionally charged because life isn’t always roses and unicorns.

Yesterday I got news that my daughter’s kindergarten teacher  passed away from a heart attack. She was in her early forties. She went to work, suddenly felt sick and then she was gone. When my daughter was in her class few years ago, they really clicked. In fact, that teacher selected her to be a “cool cat,” a special privilege given to only a handful of students in the school. I remember how she once jokingly commented that my daughter is super smart, but has those “ditzy blond” moments now and again. True! I have those too, and I’m not even blond.

I actually started writing this blog around the time my daughter went to school. I remember telling  this teacher about my site and her commenting that she really wants to travel more with her son. I hope she did. She was a single mom who adopted a little boy few years back. And she loved him dearly. I remember seeing them together at school each morning. He was always hugging his mom. I thought it was so cute that he wasn’t embarrassed to do it in front of his friends.

Every day, when I dropped my daughter off to school, this teacher was right there, smiling and opening the  car door. But she wasn’t there today. My heart breaks for her little boy. He found a loving mom and a home, and now he is all alone again. Life really isn’t fair sometimes.

I know since this is a travel-related blog, I’m supposed to say how you should take more trips with your family etc. I’m not going to do that.  I wanted to write this post to encourage you to be there for your family. Like  really be there, without phones, iPads or laptops. Instead of reading blogs and forums this weekend, how about reading stories to your kids? I admit, I’m pretty bad at this and quite often get distracted thinking about new posts, various tasks and “honey do” list for my husband. How about we keep each other accountable?

The same goes for  your family and friends. Sometimes, I’m in the middle of writing a post and my mom calls me on Skype. There were instances when I didn’t really feel like interrupting my thought process and wouldn’t answer. I figured I would call her back, but many times I didn’t. But I will now.

The truth is, in life there are no guarantees. We only have “now,” that’s all we are promised. I wrote about this before, and how you shouldn’t let negative developments of this hobby rob you of your happiness or distract you from things that really matter.  So, here I am again, encouraging you to live in the “now.”

P.S. My kids are off school tomorrow, so no posts till Monday. I’m going to practice what I “preach.”

Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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10 thoughts on “The Importance of Living in the “Now”

    • @Hilde It really is. This lady was so sweet, and she loved my daughter! I just looked at her Facebook account and it’s full of photos of her son. I think grandmother will take care of him, so he will have a home, I believe.
      I’m sorry to put such sad stuff on my blog. Tragedies happen all the time, it’s a fact of life. I almost didn’t post it, but wanted to do it as a tribute to this very special person. Plus, it’s a reminder to focus on what matters most while we still can.

  1. Life is so unfair and my condolences to the family. One of the kindergarten teachers at my kids’ school lost her daughter to brain cancer a few years ago. I think she was only 6 or 7 years old. I also had a co-worker on my team in his mid-30s who was active and seemingly healthy, then suddenly struck down by cancer out of the blue. That has really strengthened my resolve to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. I’ve heard comments from friends and family like “Why are you taking your kids to (insert international destination)? They will never remember it.” And my response is always something along the lines of 1) we will be making great family memories together. They may not recall everything, but there will be pictures and moments that they certainly remember. 2) I have the opportunity to do it now for minimal/significantly reduced cost which may not be possible in the future (due to devaluations, availability, whatever), and 3) something could happen to me tomorrow – I could die or maybe my mobility or mental capacity becomes limited. I would rather have this life experience than forever wondering “What if…”. I know people who are purposely waiting to do international travel “dream trips” until after they retire and I don’t agree with that approach…because you can never predict the future.

    • @Erik I can’t imagine the horrible pain this person has gone through losing her young child like that. I’m also sorry about your co-worker. I’m in my mid-thirties and feel pretty good, but you never know what can happen tomorrow. Actually, that goes for those who are in their twenties. There are no guarantees when it comes to health.
      I agree with you wholeheartedly. I don’t put off travel due to my kids’ age. We are on a budget, and many of our trips revolve around bringing my parents here or going to Europe to visit family. So, that eats up a good chunk of our savings as well as miles and points balances. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Family comes first, plus, we try to add side trips. I would love to take my kids to Asia someday. That’s the plan, and I hope to do it within the next five years. The challenge is fitting it around family obligations. For now, I’m concentrating on our cruise to Alaska. A huge expense, no doubt, but something my husband is looking forward to.

      • you are NOT a downer – don’t apologize. i like all your posts – serious, funny, silly, sad, etc. they’re always a great read.

    • @Jerri Thanks! My sense of humor is an acquired taste, for sure. Glad you appreciate it. I do prefer to write lighthearted posts that make people laugh. Too much sadness in this world already.

  2. I just lost a friend, in his early forties, to a heart attack. Less than a week ago. He was athletic and healthy. Getting his daughter ready for school in the morning and suddenly he died, right there, at home, with his daughter and wife. I haven’t seen him in 20 years, but he had just sent me a brief “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” email. He didn’t tell me about his life. I didn’t ask. I was busy and sent back the love without any details of my life or questions about his. I wish I’d have written more and asked more, but I’m glad, that in spite of our busy lives, we took the time to send that last little bit of love. So, your post hits home. I’m sorry for your loss and appreciate you sharing it.

    • @Amanda I’m very sorry about the loss of your friend. I feel terrible for the wife and daughter. It must have been so traumatic! Crazy for someone young and in good health to just collapse like that. I worry about my husband sometimes. He has heart problems in his family, but currently working on exercising and losing weight. Obviously, sometimes it doesn’t really help, but still. It’s important not to take each day for granted and appreciate every moment we have with our loved ones.

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