July 25, 2008: Today’s inspiration and hero, Dr. Randy Pausch dies

I realize I’m late with this post but I wanted to really collect my thoughts before I wrote it all down. Truth is that I wouldn’t have ventured into blogging or even charteried into unknown territory in this vast social media space had it not been for Randy Pausch. It was The Last Lecture that really made me think about my life from a few perspectives: family, passion and life in general. My earlier blog post indicates how significant he has changed me as a person. Since that day I have made significant changes in my life. Dr. Pausch has provided a window for me to explore my passions with unrelenting ambition. At the same time, I’ve been able to view this part of my life as it relates to everything else –> most importantly my husband and children. It’s so easy to convince yourself that you can manage everything in your life; that your busy lifestyle won’t impact your relationship with your kids or spouse; that your kids will continue to love you despite your constant absence; that eventually everything will be fine despite the challenges you face today. I was kidding myself for a long time and I needed to face reality and stop the bleeding. These past few months have been a blessing for me. I have spent the much-needed time with my family. I have rebuilt the relationship with my children and husband. I have learned to appreciate the moments: the before-bedtime books I read with Maddie and Nate and the prayers we say together each night; the hugs and kisses I receive when I pick up my kids; the smiles and laughter when we’re playing tag in the park; the comforting contentment as we watch TV together. My perspective has changed and so has my life. And I owe it to Randy Pausch who forced me to change before it was too late. Thank you.

The Last Lecture

I’ve viewed this video a number of times in the past few months but recently a friend sent it to me again and this time I had a chance to really watch and listen to it — this time without rose-coloured glasses. It’s amazing to me how many of us live life knowing that things could be better if…. or that tomorrow is another day… We continuously push off tomorrow what we could have been done today. We say we live life with integrity but we knowingly prioritize the lesser important things and justify that these are merely a means to an end — and end that involves the only thing that really matters: family. Life is passing us by so quickly, and as I have come to experience, those around me continue to be confronted by the reality of their own mortality. My kids continue to grow and I realize that I have been absent through the little milestones they have achieved. When did Nate become so articulate in his explanation of a cool hockey play? When did my little girl become such a philosopher? Why wasn’t I there when they had problems with the class bully? In the past while I’ve been reminded over and over ever so subtley about my priorities. I used to work late into the night when the kids were asleep and from time to time I would hear, Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle”. Sometimes I would stop to listen, feeling the guilt rush through me. Other times I would say to myself, “Thank God that isn’t me”. But it was..and still is. And it’s time to confront that inner beast and change before it’s too late.

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