Last week at an extended gathering, a family member posed the question: “So you find out you only have a few weeks to live.  How would you live your life differently?” A bit cliche, you might say, but the question always begs an answer. And for me, lately, it’s this; whether I have a few weeks to live, or another fifty years:

I want to love well.

And today, like any other day, easily distracted, busy and flustered with what lies before me, I choose once again to put down my smartphone, and vow, in this moment to listen wholeheartedly–not just to my clients, but to the ones I love, the ones I hold dear; the ones that have to live with me.

The holidays are upon us, and many of us fall prey to the frenzy of the season. There may be an increase in the needs of your practice,  an increase of demands at your volunteer organization , and perhaps an increase in need to provide hospitality in your home. You may feel stretched financially, wondering how you will make every one happy this season.

And now, if ever,  is the perfect time to love,

and to love well.

Despite the demands of the season, I still want to choose.  I want to choose to sit, and eat dinner with my family, even if it’s sandwiches, the same ones I made for lunch.  I want to choose to say no to that outside extra demand or two if it creates undo stress or costs me inner peace.

And I choose to love well. To sit, square in front of my daughter, who is telling me about the intricate interpersonal dynamics of her English class, and listen.

I choose to call my mom in Wisconsin, just because I want to hear her voice, and act like I forgot how to make her beef stew.

And I choose to let go of guilt, of should haves, and would haves, and I choose to live fully in the present, embracing the loves of my life as never before.

Because even though it’s the holidays, and my cards aren’t done, the shopping isn’t shopped, and the cookies aren’t baked, today is the first day of the rest of my life. And when it’s all said and done, I want to love the ones near and dear to my heart. The ones in my home.

And I want to love them well.

I sincerely hope that this year, your holiday season might be filled with peace…and loving well.