“Things which really matter must never be at the mercy of things which matter the least.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Did you happen to hear about the woman who in a hectic rush tried to get everything done the last minutes just before Christmas?

The woman, by no means well-off, was out shopping and noticed a box of 50 identical greeting cards on sale in a very crowded shop. She snapped them up and was determined to mail them even if they arrived a day or two after Christmas.

Later that evening she stayed up late and addressed 49 of the cards, readying them to be posted the next morning and breathing a huge a sigh of relief.

It wasn’t until later the next day after she had mailed the cards did she take notice of the one remaining card in the box and was horrified when she read the message: “This little card is just to say, a gift from me to you, is on its way.”

You know as much as I enjoy being spontaneous and impulsive, I must confess that as my grandmother often said, ‘look before you leap” certainly applies in this case.

Well, perhaps as we contemplate the coming new year — 2020 — it’s a good time for all of us to slow ourselves down a bit by trying not to do too much, take on too much and adjust the frantic pace of our lives by carefully examining our priorities. It’s a case of defining what really matters by letting go of some of the things that don’t.

For each of us it must be the realization that indeed life is too short to waste  on the trivial and the inconsequential. For me, the older I get the more I’ve come to realize how easy it is to run through life so fast that one ultimately misses out on those rare and precious moments that will never return.

Thus, there couldn’t be a better time than the start of a sparkling new year to meaningfully and deliberately answer some sincere and honest questions about life’s priorities.

• Are you taking enough time for the most important people in your life — you know, the ones that really, really count?

• Are you looking at life not as a race but rather as a journey to be enjoyed at a pace that provides you and those you love precious and lasting moments that will live in your memory forever?

• Do you, as Stephen Covey once suggested, try not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but rather schedule your priorities?

And finally, as the New Year is thrust upon us, ask yourself if you are living your life in a way that no one could ever question what is truly important to you because you have zeroed in on what matters and living life to the fullest.

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