When I answered that question (which will be different for everyone), I started to clean out my office. It was crucial to ask that question first because I had 31 three-inch ring binders full of "stuff" to go through.
Half way through the "ordeal," I thought, Did I really do all those things? I was a teacher of medical terminology and beginning Italian, personality trainer (Myers-Briggs), author, speaker, medical transcriptionist, tumor registrar, editor, wife, mother, and friend (not necessarily in that order!).
Out of the three-foot pile of black garbage bags, I kept exactly three things; two of them I will share with you and the third I will keep private (if you don't mind). The first is hanging over my computer and reads, "Remember: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!" That pretty much sums up our move to Cuenca, Ecuador. The hardest part is getting there! It didn't help that I spent all day yesterday in the ER and today at the orthopedic surgeon's office (probable torn meniscus of the right knee).
The second item I kept is a card from a friend which pretty much sums up life (in general): "Ten Rules for Making Every Day a Great Day!"
1. Think and expect good things will happen!
2. Express gratitude to a loved one.
3. Let go of your grievances!
4. Be patient to an annoying person.
5. Do something special for yourself!
6. Reach out to someone who needs comfort.
7. Live and fully experience the present moment!
8. Learn from a mistake.
9. Look closely into a flower and see and experience its true beauty.
10. Smile all day and laugh as often as you can.
Things I did not throw away, include: my birth certificate, marriage certificate, and Social Security Card.
There you have it! After 35 years of hard labor, life boiled down to a few pieces of paper and lots of memories. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be (really!). It was almost cathartic because I realized that what mattered most to me (my husband, my sons, and my family) were already in my heart and, therefore, could never really be taken from me.
Until next time...hasta luego!
Connie and Mark
P.S. Each day I will post a picture of Mark's recent trip to Cuenca. Looking at those steps, I'm pretty sure I will need my knee fixed prior to boarding the airplane!