Release, Embrace, Anticipate

I recently announced that “Release, Embrace, Anticipate” would be the theme for this year (referring to the Past, Present, Future) and then…


What happened? Did I accidentally release the present, embrace the past, and forgot all about the future?

Well… maybe something like that. Sorry. Here’s the scoop:

Right after my last post, I attended my uncle’s memorial service. Two notes: 1. My uncle was my favorite relative: loving, encouraging, supportive, fun, wise. 2. After a two-year hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer, he was ready to move on, and his passing was a relief to him and all who knew him, so the memorial service served to document a life well-lived. Tears, yes. But also laughter and release.

The sunset the night he died:

I’d planned to write about that here, but it got away from me and the moment passed. What I’d planned to say (not carpe diem, but probably something along those lines) no longer applied. “Seize the day” — which one? The ones I procrastinated through? Hmm, I’d like to call that “ironic” but “hypocritical” is more accurate. Ouch!

Anyway, I started over today.

RELEASE — My uncle meant a lot to me, and I’ll always have that. Even so, everything I said about him are qualities I find (in different measures) in the people still around me: love, encouragement, support, humor, wisdom. He would love this comparison:

It’s like when the restaurant that serves your favorite dish (let’s say spaghetti carbonara) goes out of business. OK, you’ll never eat that EXACT dish again. However, guess what? Now you get to try carbonara everywhere you go, with the excuse that you are looking for your new favorite!

EMBRACE — Here’s where I really got hung up, until I realized that in the debate over the terms “Embrace” and “Enjoy” the Present (see the previous post), I chose Embrace. Lately, I’ve been tackling what’s in front of me and thinking I’m not living fully in the moment because I’m not always enjoying the thing right in front of me. When I finally confronted my expectations, I remembered that there is pleasure to be found in seeing things through.

I have a new neighbor, whose overnight company left a broken item (cough cough — see photo) in the parking lot several days ago. I’ve been watching to see how long it would take before my neighbor removed the wreckage. When I asked myself today what I could do to embrace today, the only “enjoyable” thing that came to mind = going out to eat breakfast. That reminded me of the broken glass near my tires, and suddenly I realized that cleaning up that mess would be more enjoyable that waiting and watching.

So that is what I did. And then I bought myself an iced mocha and sat down to finish this post.

ANTICIPATE — About that breakfast: as much as I love a good breakfast burrito, it’s eating in good company that truly motivates me. With that in mind, planning who to eat with and where to go gives me a feeling of anticipation, not simply putting an event on the calendar, but (depending on who I meet with) building a new relationship, or working through differences with a neighbor (no, not the new one; I’ll tell you more about my neighbors soon), or reuniting with an estranged friend. So good!

2 thoughts on “Release, Embrace, Anticipate

    • Thank you, Sarah. I appreciate that. On the bright side (how my uncle would see it), the protracted battle gave him time to complete bucket list items with his wife, meet and bond with a quiver of grandchildren (eleven and counting, I think), and left them all able to say they tried everything possible with the knowledge he put up a good fight! He repeatedly said he wanted to “finish well,” and that he did.


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