Richard Carlson author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff died prematurely of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 45. An Hour to Live, An Hour to Love features a letter that Richard had written to his wife Kristine Carlson on their 18th wedding anniversary.
In his letter to Kristine, he outlines what he feels is important to him in life. The points made by Richard Carlson is something that we all know is important but sometimes get too caught up with the unnecessary things to actually take time to do. I could relate to this book because I too share the same views.
This book is a quick read, outlining things that you may already know deep down but never take the time to appreciate. Read it if you can just as a reminder of things that we already know but often forget.
Here are some quotes from the book that I’d like to share my thoughts on:
- · “If I had an hour to live, I’ll tell you who I wouldn’t call. It wouldn’t be my stockbroker, my financial planner, my banker, or my CPA”
- · “Likewise, I wouldn’t be checking in at the office to see what last minute projects I might be able to check off my list!”
My two cents worth: I don’t have a stock broker and like most of us, my financial planner would be the bank calling me reminding me that the cheque is a few days overdue. I do however have demanding clients. Don’t get me wrong, they are nice people to work with really but they get caught up with the pressures of deadlines and meeting targets that they often turn crazy, sometimes down-right nasty. Yet, these are the people that I work hard for until the wee hours of the morning, missing important family dinners or functions that really matter. If I left this world, I doubt they would mourn for me. Maybe they’d be shocked but would later ask the Management, ‘who would be taking over her role?’ That’s just the way it works. As I grow older I realize that family matters more and that should be the priority.
- · “I also wouldn’t be calling anyone who owned me any money, or anyone who had wronged me in any way during my lifetime”
- · “With the time I have left, I choose to allow my thoughts to rest in total peace, right here, right now in this precious moments”
My two cents worth: In life you often meet new people, some nice, some not. I used to get very upset and take things personally when an unfair comment or action is targeted at me. It sometimes kept me awake at night where I’ll question the situation or why so and so is doing this or that to me. I’ve realized now that I should let go of things and people that I can’t control. I made a conscious decision not to fret or lose sleep over such matters. At the end they do not matter, they will not be among those I would call before I go.
- · “The ‘rat race’ is an illusion, and so unnecessary.”
My two cents worth: “The ‘rat race’ is an illusion” is my favourite quote from this book because I can’t help getting caught up with the day to day deadlines that I often forget the more important things in life; to slow down, build relationships, doing things that I’d love to do.
- · “I would never put off so easily and so often, what I knew, deep down, I really wanted to do. God, if I had only known what a mistake that was.”
- · “I’d say things like, ‘This is a really busy time,’ as if, somehow, next month was magically going to be less demanding”
My two cents worth: I’m guilty of this. Sometimes my mother would call while I’m in the office and I’d say I’m too busy to talk to her for even a minute or a good friend would call for a meet and I’d say no to a quick cup of coffee because I just have to finish up a proposal for a client (that eventually ends up in the bin anyway). I guess all we need is a couple of minutes to take time off for those who matter, because you'll never know when you'll be able to talk to them next.
So at the end of it all, the question still remains: “If you had an hour to live and could make just one phone call, who would it be to, what would you say... and why are you waiting?”
I’d call my mum who is my best friend, my fashion critic, my food critic, my physician, my consultant, my partner in crime, the best chef I’ve ever met, my confidante, basically my everything and would miss her terribly if I left this world. I know I don’t say it enough but I do love her dearly.