With Christmas season all but over, Clint and I are looking at our tree knowing it has to come down, and trying to find places to store all of the toys our kids received on Christmas morning. Our season was long. Both of us being from large families, we had multiple occasions to attend right through the season. This was one of the best Christmas’ we have had, in my opinion, since we’ve been together. It wasn’t because we spent more money, or got better gifts, it was because this was the year of relationships.
If you know me well, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about when our daughter was in the hospital this past year, but for those of you new to the Vanderveen Blog, you should know that our daughter was in the hospital for more than a month in this last year. In that time, Clint and I were fundamentally changed from the inside out. We have learned deep life lessons that we hope every day will never fade from our memory. We learned about what is important in this life. In a word: relationships. Before one goes through a trauma like that, it’s pretty funny how one can become tricked into believing that one’s house, car, reputation or bank account are the things that matter. It isn’t as if we cognitively acknowledge this idea, but we live our lives in such a way that these things are what take up all of our attention and energy. Every day is a struggle to eschew the lies of society, and refuse to spend all of one’s time and mental energy pursuing these empty goals. The reality of where our lives were headed before and after the hospital is pretty striking.
It was amazing to approach a Christmas season this year, with some extra space in our mind and hearts to pursue what we now experientially know is more important than anything else in this wide world: relationships. Suddenly, even relationships that were once broken were easily repaired, and relationships you never thought you had time for can be pursued. All with a simple change in focus, and a realization of the emptiness and lack of fulfillment that comes from pursuing just about anything else in this life.
On this New Years Day, I wish for you all to locate the people in your life who are the most important, and treat them as if they might be lying in a hospital bed tomorrow morning because the simple truth is that they very well could. We just don’t know, and we don’t have any control over it. I confess that it’s not easy, and Clint and I have failed to live up to our new realization time and time again, but our life is richer now than it ever has been, even with just the smallest human effort that we have applied to farming and caring for the soil in the relationships we treasure most.
Happy New Year!
The Vanderveen Team
Maxwell South Star Realty
Phone: 403.253.5678 Fax: 403.592.6736